Turkey to stand its ground faced with US sanctions: Erdoğan

TEHRAN, Jul. 29 (MNA) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey will stand its ground after US President Donald Trump threatened to slap sanctions on Ankara if it does not free an American pastor.

“The friendship between the United States and Turkey is on the line in this dispute,” Turkish President Erdogan said.

“We will not take a step back when faced with sanctions,” Erdogan was quoted as saying. “They should not forget that they will lose a sincere partner.”

American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was transferred to house arrest this week after 21 months of detention in a Turkish prison, has worked in Turkey for more than two decades.

He has been accused of supporting the group Ankara says was behind a failed military coup in 2016 and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The pastor, who has denied the charges, faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty.

Diplomats have been working to settle the tense dispute, Reuters continued, adding that on Saturday US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo discussed the status of the pastor with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

KI/PR

News Code 136152

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