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

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

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

Turkey's president said Saturday the country will freeze the assets of two United States officials in retaliation for sanctions against Turkey's justice and interior ministers over the detention of an American pastor, while attempting a conciliatory tone.

"We repeated this today", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said after he and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on the sidelines of a regional security summit in Singapore.

Despite the announcement of sanctions, Erdogan called for a return to the two country's partnership, saying, "We think there is no problem we can not solve with the American administration".

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".

Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Thursday called for the immediate reversal of new USA sanctions imposed over the treatment of detained American pastor Andrew Brunson. "It's pretty straightforward. Pastor Brunson is an innocent pastor and they need to let him return to the United States".

He said the sanctions are meant to show Turkey that the USA is "serious" about the issue.

Australia, NZ firefighters fly out to battle deadly California wildfires
The largest blaze burned in the Redding area, in Shasta County north of Sacramento. The nearby Ranch Fire also broke out Friday and has burned almost 75,000 acres.

Brunson is charged with supporting the group Ankara blames for orchestrating an attempted coup in 2016.

The pastor, who has lived in Turkey for more than 20 years, faces as many as 35 years in jail if found guilty. The sell-off also hammered Turkish stocks and debt risk profile.

U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson has been accused by Turkey of having ties to the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for a failed coup in 2016. Gulen denies the allegations.

Brunson was in a Turkish prison for 21 months until he was transferred to house arrest last week. On Tuesday, a court rejected his appeal to be released from house arrest during his trial on terrorism charges.

Top U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, have said there is no evidence against Brunson and demanded his release.

Erdogan said within the scope of action plan, the environmental impact assessment and survey project works of Canal Istanbul will be submitted for approval.

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