Pompeo and Cavusoglu discuss arrest of U.S. pastor
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his U.S. counterpart Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held another phone conversation on August 1 amid high-running tensions between Ankara and Washington over the arrest of U.S Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson.
This is the third conversation held between Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo on the matter since US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if Brunson is not released, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which Ankara blames for the failed coup in 2016. He was moved from prison to house arrest on July 25.
Trump tweeted on July 26 to warn Ankara about “large sanctions” over the arrest of Brunson.
Çavuşoğlu called Pompeo the same day to convey Turkey’s response to the strong statements from the U.S. administration.