Turkey can end crisis with US instantly by releasing pastor Brunson without condition: NSA Bolton

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, USA Published: Aug 22, 2018, 10:41 AM(IST)

US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan gesture as they talk at the start of the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Trump has imposed tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminium over Turkish president Erdogan's refusal to free pastor Brunson.

US national security adviser John Bolton said today that Turkey could end the standoff with the Trump administration if it freed the US pastor "without condiction".

Also Read: Turkey court rejects another appeal to free US pastor

President Trump had imposed new sanctions on Turkey over the arrest of US pastor Andrew Brunson leading to the freefall of the Turkish currency Lira which was losing ground for several weeks as the crisis with the US began to take a toll on the Turkish economy. 

Trump has imposed tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminium over Turkish president Erdogan's refusal to free pastor Brunson.

"The Turkish government made a big mistake in not releasing Pastor Brunson," Bolton said, adding,"Every day that goes by that mistake continues, this crisis could be over instantly if they did the right thing as a NATO ally, part of the West, and release pastor Brunson without condition."

On Tuesday, President Trump ruled out agreeing to any demands from Turkey to gain the release of a detained American pastor.

"I think it's very sad what Turkey is doing. I think they're making a terrible mistake. There will be no concessions," the US president had said.

The crisis between the US and Turkey has threatened to create fissures in NATO, however, Trump said he wasn't concerned that his tough stance could end up hurting European and emerging market economies.

Trump in an interview said that president Erdogan had earlier agreed to free pastor Brunson, however, Ankara denies ever agreeing to free Brunson.

Meanwhile, Turkey lodged a complaint against additional US duties on steel and aluminium at World Trade Organization(WTO), the first stage in the process is a request for bilateral consultations to attempt to resolve the dispute.

The announcement of the tariffs on August 10 by President Trump on Twitter had caused the Turkish lira to crash nearly 20 per cent as President Erdogan said it was a  "political plot" and an "economic war" against Turkey.

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