Middle East

Trump thanks Turkeys Erdogan for help in release of US pastor

US President Donald Trump on Saturday thanked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his help in the case of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was freed by a Turkish court after two years in detention.

Trump also announced that he would meet with Brunson in the Oval Office at 2:30 pm (1830 GMT).

“It will be wonderful to see and meet him. He is a great Christian who has been through such a tough experience. I would like to thank President @RT_Erdogan for his help!” Trump tweeted.

Pastor Andrew Brunson, released by Turkey, will be with me in the Oval Office at 2:30 P.M. (this afternoon). It will be wonderful to see and meet him. He is a great Christian who has been through such a tough experience. I would like to thank President @RT_Erdogan for his help!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2018

Brunson was flown out of Turkey after a court freed him from two years of detention, in a step that could improve US-Turkish ties strained by disputes over Syria and Iran.

Trump has said there was no deal to lift sanctions on Turkey in exchange for Brunsons release.

There was NO DEAL made with Turkey for the release and return of Pastor Andrew Brunson. I dont make deals for hostages. There was, however, great appreciation on behalf of the United States, which will lead to good, perhaps great, relations between the United States & Turkey!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2018

Erdogan to Trump: Court issued Brunson verdict independently

President Erdogan on Saturday told Donald Trump that the courts decision to free the US pastor was taken “independently”, after the US president thanked the Turkish strongman for his efforts in securing the release.

"Mr President @realDonaldTrump, in line with what I have always said, the Turkish judicial decision was taken independently," Erdogan wrote on his official Twitter account.

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Last Update: Saturday, 13 October 2018 KSA 18:48 – GMT 15:48

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