Trump Says U.S. Won't Pay Turkey for Pastor's Release

Trump Says U.S. Won't Pay Turkey for Pastor's Release

Following the Qatar news, the lira firmed briefly to 5.8699 from 6.04 to the dollar, before easing back to 6.0500 by 1658 GMT.

Intermarket Strategy director Ashraf al-Ayedi said the effect of the Qatari support for Turkey is temporary, and won't be of major help during the Turkish currency crisis.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the United States was ready to place further economic sanctions on Turkey if detained American pastor Andrew Brunson is not released.

"They are now holding our wonderful Christian pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage".

"Pastor Andrew Brunson is an innocent man held in Turkey & justice demands that he be released", Pence tweeted.

Rattled markets ended a rollercoaster week on the back foot after the Turkish lira's recovery suffered a setback with tensions mounting with the US.

Brunson, a pastor who is a long time resident in Turkey, is alleged by the government to have links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenist movement, both of which are accused of being involved in 2016's failed coup against Erdogan. His transfer to house arrest came after Trump asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to assist in Brunson's release, Israeli and United States officials told CNN at the time.

China lodges complaint with WTO over legalities of US policies
The 30 percent tariffs announced in January improperly help USA producers in violation of WTO rules, the Commerce Ministry said. In addition to those tariffs, China is dissatisfied with the subsidies the USA provides to locally-made photovoltaics.

Speaking about President Erdogan's imposition of high tariffs on U.S. goods, Sarah Sanders said that the move was "a step in the wrong direction".

Last week the United States doubled tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey, during a dispute over Turkey's detention of an American pastor on security charges that the USA views as baseless.

The President had strong words for Turkey as he addressed reporters at the White House.

While Erdogan has said Turkey would respond to the sanctions by boycotting US goods, Aljazerra reported Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is sending a more positive message but cautioned about the Trump administration on its tone in future negotiations. This happened several weeks after Washington imposed sanctions on two high-ranking Turkish officials, and promised more restrictions if Brunson isn't freed.

Turkey has the highest foreign exchange-denominated debt among emerging markets, Societe Generale said in a note on Friday, estimating its short-term external debt at $180 billion and total external debt at $460 billion. In the Gulf crisis, Turkey sided with Qatar, which was the rightful side.

For years Turkish firms have borrowed in dollars and lira to take advantage of lower interest rates.

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