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US, Turkey discuss detained US pastor after Trump threat

WASHINGTON – Secretary of state Mike Pompeo has spoken with his Turkish counterpart about an American pastor being held on terrorism and espionage charges.

It would be a possible indication that the NATO allies are trying to ease tensions that flared this week after President Donald Trump said that the US would impose sanctions in retaliation. Turkey has called that a “cheap threat.”

The State Department says Pompeo spoke Saturday with the Minister of Foreign affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu (MEHV’-loot chah-voo-SHOH’-loo), and they are “committed to continued discussions to resolve the matter and address other matters of common interest.”

Andrew Craig Brunson was detained in the aftermath of a failed 2016 coup against Turkey’s government. He denies the allegations.

Brunson had escaped from the prison Wednesday, after 1 1/2 years and transferred to the house of the arrest. Trump says that’s not enough.

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