Turkey's Cavusoglu tells US' Pompeo threats and sanctions won't work


Brunson, who used to run a Protestant church in the city of Izmir in western Turkey, was recently moved to house arrest, but Washington said that was not enough. "We consider this one of the many issues that we have with the Turks".

Pompeo remarks came just two days after the Trump administration slapped sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over Brunson's case. Their talks came after Washington imposed sanctions on two of Turkey's ministers over the trial of a USA pastor Andrew Craig Brunson accused of backing terrorism.

The sanctions will freeze the U.S. assets of Turkey's minister of justice, Abdulhamit Gul, and its minister of interior, Suleyman Soylu. "Pretty straightforward. They've been holding these folks for a long time".

Last week, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if Brunson was not immediately released.

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Hours before the sanctions were announced, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Washington of showing an "evangelist, Zionist mentality".

Speaking to Turkish journalists after his meeting with Pompeo, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described their discussion as "extremely constructive" and said the two would continue to work toward resolving disputes between the two countries.

The two NATO allies have been at loggerheads over Turkey's detention of a North Carolina-born Christian pastor on terror charges.

"I am hopeful that we can".

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Two Turkish employees of USA consulates in Turkey are also now in jail on terror charges, and another is under house arrest, while several Americans have been caught up in the crackdown that followed a failed 2016 coup.

The sanctions targeting Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu freeze any property or assets on U.S. soil held by the two ministers, and bar USA citizens from doing business with them.

Brunson faces up to 35 years in jail on charges of carrying out activities on behalf of two terror organisations - the group led by US-based Fethullah Gulen blamed for the July 2016 failed coup and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Brunson denies the accusations.

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