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Pompeo Leans on Turkey to Release Pastor Brunson: 'The Clock's Run Out'

Pompeo Leans on Turkey to Release Pastor Brunson: 'The Clock's Run Out'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed Turkey on Friday for the release of a detained American pastor whose case has led the Trump administration to hit senior Turkish officials with sanctions and badly strained ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

"We have said from the start that the other side's threatening language and sanctions will not get any result".

"The Turks were on notice that.it was time for Pastor Brunson to be returned", Pompeo told reporters in Singapore.

Pompeo met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Singapore during a security conference in Southeast Asia.

The administration is also seeking the release of several detained local employees of the US diplomatic missions in the Turkey. Meanwhile, Turkey has said the U.S. demands for the pastor's release are "unacceptable".

"We consider this one of the many issues that we have with the Turks", Pompeo said.

Last week, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if Brunson was not immediately released.

The Erdogan government has vowed to retaliate against the USA sanctions, announced Wednesday, but has not revealed what they will be. "We have repeated this today".

On Friday, the two leaders agreed to work together to resolve tensions between the two countries.

On Wednesday, Washington moved to block the assets of Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in the U.S. and prohibit American citizens from "engaging in transactions with them".

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

He was recently released from prison and put under house arrest but still faces a sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted at his ongoing trial. The sanctions also prevent American citizens from doing any business with the two ministers.

The US treasury announced measures last night against Suleyman Soylu, the interior minister, and Abdulhamit Gul, the justice minister, in response to the treatment of Andrew Brunson, an American. Gulen denies the claim.

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