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Pastor row: United States and Turkey hold 'constructive' talks

04 August 2018

"We consider this one of the many issues that we have with the Turks".

Also Turkish Foreign Minister said he told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that threats and sanctions will not work, after Washington targeted Turkish ministers over the detention of an American pastor.

Cavusoglu, in comments to Turkish broadcasters, said he and Pompeo had also discussed potential joint steps the two countries could take regarding Syria's Idlib and Manbij.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday said he told his U.S. counterpart Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that threats and sanctions would not work after Washington targeted Turkish ministers over the detention of an American pastor.

The sanctions, announced Wednesday, allow the USA government to target individuals and companies involved in corruption or human-rights abuses, which in this case include Turkey's justice and interior ministers.

He added both ministers agreed to work in close co-operation and continue the dialogue. "We repeated this today", he said after a meeting with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Singapore.

"Everyone's very disappointed. Nobody expected this kind of treatment (toward) two Cabinet ministers", said Ilnur Cevik, a senior adviser to Turkish strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Brunson needs to come home, as do all the Americans being held by the Turkish government", Pompeo told reporters before the meeting.

"They've been holding these folks for a long time".

"The Turks were on notice that the clock had run out 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". "These are innocent people".

On Wednesday, Washington moved to block the assets of Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in the United States and prohibit American citizens from "engaging in transactions with them". Speculative actions in financial markets following the announcement of the sanctions would be rendered void, he said.

In terms of North Korea, Pompeo criticized the communist state for lagging behind on plans to honor the agreements made in Singapore during a summit in June between Kim Jong Un and President Trump.

Pastor Brunson was arrested in Izmir, Turkey in October 2016, and was accused without any evidence of helping terrorist groups and of engaging in espionage.

Pastor row: United States and Turkey hold 'constructive' talks