Turkey vows retaliation against United States sanctions

Turkey vows retaliation against United States sanctions

Turkey vows retaliation against United States sanctions

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told journalists both ministers had "played leading roles in the arrest and detention of Pastor Brunson", who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir.

"We consider this one of the many issues that we have with the Turks", Pompeo continued, but didn't elaborate.

The U.S. on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

"The Turks were on notice that the clock had run and it was time for Pastor Brunson to be returned and I hope they'll see this for what it is, a demonstration that we're very serious", Pompeo said.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday pushed Turkey to release a detained American pastor whose case prompted the Trump administration to slap sanctions on senior Turkish officials, and said North Korea is still lagging behind on its promise to denuclearize.

Ahead of the meeting, Pompeo said Brunson's case would be high on his list of items to discuss with his Turkish counterpart.

The meeting came on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers' meeting. "Pretty straightforward. They've been holding these folks for a long time".

Turkey's foreign ministry previously said it would retaliate against Washington's decision, calling it a "hostile stance".

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Pastor Andrew Brunson was held in prison for almost two years before he was moved to house arrest last week, disappointing American officials who expected his release.

"I can say that it was a very constructive meeting", stated Cavusoglu.

The sanctions involve freezing any property or assets on the United States soil held by the two ministers.

He is accused of carrying out activities on behalf of two groups viewed by Ankara as terrorists: the movement of the US-led Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen blamed for the July 2016 coup attempt and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Mr. Erdogan's government also alleges the Mr. Brunson has ties to a Turkish preacher now living in exile in the US whom Ankara accuses of fomenting the coup.

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