Last Update 23:27
Tuesday, 18 June 2019

US lifts sanctions on top Turkish officials as tensions ease

Reuters , Friday 2 Nov 2018
Suleyman Soylu, Abdulhamit Gul
Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu (L) and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2458
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2458

The United States lifted sanctions on Friday on two top officials in Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s cabinet, a sign of improved relations after Turkey freed an American pastor from detention three weeks ago.

The United States had imposed sanctions on Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in August to protest the case of Andrew Brunson, an American Christian pastor who had been detained by Turkey for two years.

The US Treasury Department announced on its website that the sanctions had been lifted. Turkey immediately matched the US move by lifting sanctions on two corresponding US officials - US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the foreign ministry said.

Tensions between the NATO allies on this and other issues have weighed on the Turkish economy. After Friday’s move, Turkey’s sovereign dollar bonds jumped, with many issues adding 1 cent or more.

Erdogan and Trump discussed improving relations between Washington and Ankara during a call between the two leaders, the Turkish presidency said on Thursday.[nL8N1XC785]

The White House did not have any immediate comment on the lifting of the US sanctions.

Brunson, who had lived in Turkey for more than 20 years, was swept up in raids after a 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan. He was jailed two years ago and up until his release last month had been under house arrest since July, accused of links to Kurdish militants and supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a cleric blamed by Turkey’s government for the coup attempt.

Brunson maintained his innocence, and his case was championed by US evangelical Christians.

After a July deal to free Brunson fell apart, Washington imposed sanctions and tariffs on Ankara that sent the lira tumbling.

Relations have also been strained by US support of Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, Turkey’s plans to purchase a Russian missile defense system and the US jailing of an executive of a Turkish state bank in an Iran sanctions case.

Washington has also been pushing Turkey to release Turkish- American Serkan Golge, a former NASA scientist, who was arrested in the 2016 crackdown, as well as Turkish citizens employed by the US. State Department who were detained in the sweeps.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.