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Home / World / Pompeo suggests US may lift Turkey sanctions linked to pastor | Turkey News

Pompeo suggests US may lift Turkey sanctions linked to pastor | Turkey News



US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that Washington may lift sanctions on Turkey during the detention of a US pastor.

Pompeo's remarks came on Wednesday after his talks with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We've got a decision on that but just now it was put in place with Pastor Brunson and there's a logic to now remove those as well, "Pompeo told reporters as his plan refuelled in Brussels, Belgium.

In Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who also met Pompeo on Wednesday, did not address the issue of the Brunson sanctions directly, but declared that any such US measures were "nonsense."

"We agree that in our relations, there should be no sanctions like these and other issues," he said.

Frayed ties

US President Donald Trump's administration imposed sanctions targeting Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in response to Turkey's arrest and prosecution of US pastor Andrew Brunson on terror charges.

In all, Brunson was convicted and sentenced earlier this month of espionage and aiding terror groups, only to be released on the basis of good behavior and time served

Cavusoglu (C) met Pompeo (R) in Ankara on Wednesday [Cem Ozdel/Anadolu]

Trump hailed the release, which has been read as an opening for Ankara and Washington to restore frayed ties.

Lira crisis

The introduction of the sanctions in August prompted a currency crisis in Turkey. Turkish lira has dropped about 35 percent this year, but there are some signs of recovery.

Brunson's release has helped push the lira to its firmest in two months. And after Pompeo's remarks on Wednesday, the currency stood at 5.55 against the US dollar, a gain in value of more than two percent.

So on Wednesday, the lawyer for Brunson said he had appealed to a Turkish court against his client's sentence .

The prosecutor in the case, claiming the sentence is a contravened law and procedure.

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