Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

US, Turkey agree to try to resolve disputes after relations dive

US, Turkey agree to try to resolve disputes after relations dive

The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions on Wednesday against Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Erdogan called the sanctions a "serious disrespect towards Turkey" and accused the USA of hypocrisy for demanding the release of evangelical pastor Andrew Craig Brunson while ally Turkey tries him over alleged links to terror groups.

A leading Turkish opposition party wants to make it personal in the increasingly nasty clash between Ankara and Washington, saying Turkey should retaliate for economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration by seizing the Trump Towers complex that are one of the most prominent features of the Istanbul skyline.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that he expected a joint roadmap with the United States regarding the northern Syrian city of Manbij not to be impacted by tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who is set to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the next few days, also warned that the move "will not go without response".

"Of course you can't expect all issues to be resolved in a single meeting".

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A Reuters witness saw soldiers with sticks beat two people and counted at least five trucks full of soldiers. The MDC opposition party condemned the army for opening fire on protesters "for no apparent reason".

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

"The Turks were on notice that the clock had run and it was time for Pastor Brunson to be returned and I hope they'll see this for what it is, a demonstration that we're very serious", Pompeo said. "These are innocent people".

After reports that the USA would sanction individuals over the case, the lira hit a record low of 5.01 against the dollar, before rallying slightly to 4.9. He is facing a 35-year sentence if convicted of the charges of "committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member" and espionage. "We call on the USA administration to walk back from this wrong decision", it said in a statement on Wednesday. Gulen denies the allegations.

The American pastor was also charged with supporting outlawed Kurdish PKK fighters. On Tuesday, a court rejected his appeal to be released during his trial. Pence, who has close ties to the evangelical Christian community, has been following proceedings since Brunson was arrested and pressing behind the scenes for action, aides said.

It was unclear who would be affected by Erdogan's announcement because of differing cabinet roles in the United States, or if they have any holdings in Turkey.

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