WASHINGTON – High-level meetings in Washington between senior AMERICAN and Turkish officials concluded Wednesday without a clear solution for the case of a detained American pastor.
The State Department said deputy minister of foreign affairs, John Sullivan, and the Turkish Vice-Minister of Foreign affairs, Sedat in the Environment meet in an effort to the crisis in relations caused by Turkey’s continued detention of the evangelical reverend Andrew Brunson.
Brunson’s detention led the Trump administration last week to slap punitive sanctions on two Turkish ministers and to warn of additional measures if the matter is not resolved quickly.
Wednesday’s meeting dealt with Brunson and the sanctions, aimed at the end of the sharp divide between the NATO allies.
Then, spokeswoman of the State Department Heather Nauert said: “talks continue.” They did not elaborate.
Brunson is on trial on espionage and terror-related charges in connection with a failed 2016 coup attempt, which he and the AMERICAN government is sure to reject. The government has repeatedly demanded Brunson’s release.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously linked Brunson’s back to the US for the extradition of the spiritual Turkey holds the government responsible for the failed 2016 coup. The spiritual, who denies orchestrating the attempted coup, lives in Pennsylvania.
Turkish requests for his arrest and extradition denied.
Brunson has lived in Turkey for 23 years and served as pastor of Izmir Resurrection Church, a small Protestant church.
During a recent hearing, Brunson dismissed against him.