Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Secretary of State Pompeo Meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister in Singapore

Andrew Brunson was accused of being involved in the failed coup attempt Andrew Brunson was accused of being involved in the failed coup attemptAFP GETTY IMAGES
Ray Hunter | 04 August, 2018, 18:32

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that he expected a joint roadmap with the United States regarding the northern Syrian city of Manbij not to be impacted by tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

The FETO and its US -based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and almost 2,200 injured.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he has asked Turkish authorities to freeze the assets in Turkey of the United States ministers of "justice and interior", in response to Washington's sanctions over the detention of an American pastor.

While Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu had agreed to resolve the situation in a meeting with Pompeo, he also says that the threatening language and sanctions from the U.S. won't get them anywhere.

Pompeo discussed the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been in custody in Turkey since 2016 on terror charges. He denies the charges but faces up to 35 years in jail.

"Of course you can't expect all issues to be resolved in a single meeting".

Brunson was in a Turkish prison for 21 months until he was transferred to house arrest last week.

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On Friday State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said Pompeo and Cavusoglu had a "constructive conversation" and "agreed to continue to try to resolve the issues between our two countries".

Erdogan said Turkey will never step back from defence industry projects, saying 48 out of the 400 projects are related to the defence industry.

"Brunson needs to come home, as do all the Americans being held by the Turkish government", Pompeo told the press prior to his side meeting with the foreign minister at a Southeast Asian security conference. "They've been holding these folks for a long time".

"I hope they'll see this for what it is, a demonstration that we're very serious", he said of the sanctions.

The Turkish lira, which has been in decline against the dollar for most of 2018, fell to a record low of five to the dollar on Wednesday, after dropping 1.7 percent following the sanctions announcement. "We call on the USA administration to walk back from this wrong decision", it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The United States has also been seeking the release of three locally employed embassy staff detained in Turkey.

He also urged Turkish people to convert their hard currency and gold into lira and euros to bolster the lira and "show their resistance to the world" as he presented an economic action plan for the next 100 days.

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