Turkey demands USA reverse sanctions over pastor Andrew Brunson

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Top diplomats from Turkey and the United States agreed on Friday to work towards a solution to the diplomatic spat that has erupted over the arrest of a USA pastor, which has already resulted in Washington slapping sanctions on Ankara.

"We have said since the beginning that threatening language and sanctions will not get any result", he said.

Cavusoglu told Turkish press that the meeting was "constructive", but also spoke out against the sanctions.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu have held talks in Singapore on August 3, 2018.

The administration is also seeking the release of several detained local employees of the US diplomatic missions in the Turkey.

Turkey has said the sanctions were unacceptable. Meanwhile, Turkey has said the United States demands for the pastor's release are "unacceptable".

The Erdogan government has vowed to retaliate against the US sanctions, announced Wednesday, but has not revealed what they will be.

Cavusoglu said the ministers had discussed steps both countries could take to solve the existing problems.

The case is now at the centre of a bitter row between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Ankara and Washington after the USA on Wednesday imposed sanctions on the Turkish justice and interior ministers claiming they played a major role in the arrest and detention of the pastor.

"They agreed to continue to try to resolve the issues between our two countries", Nauert said.

Under the sanctions to be imposed by the Treasury Department, any property, or interest in property, belonging to Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul or Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu within USA jurisdiction would be blocked.

Andrew Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for two decades, was swept up in a string of arrests in the wake of a failed military coup against Mr. Erdogan in 2016. The sanctions also prevent American citizens from doing any business with the two ministers. Mr. Erdogan's government also alleges the Mr. Brunson has ties to a Turkish preacher now living in exile in the USA whom Ankara accuses of fomenting the coup. Ankara blames Gulen for the coup attempt, while the cleric denies involvement.

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