Trump Wanted To Shutter US Embassy In Turkey Over Detention Of American Pastor
18 October, 2018, 17:32
US President Donald Trump's administration imposed sanctions targeting Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in response to Turkey's arrest and prosecution of US pastor Andrew Brunson on terror charges.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for State, said: "Secretary Michael R. Pompeo met today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara". He faced up to 35 years in jail if convicted of all the charges against him.
Brunson knelt on one knee, put his hand on Trump's shoulder, and prayed for the president.
In all, Brunson was held for two years and was convicted and sentenced Friday of espionage and aiding terror groups, only to be quickly released on the basis of good behaviour and time served. "We do not pay ransom in this country..."
An American pastor freed after almost two years of detention in Turkey is expected to meet President Donald Trump at the White House.
"It is an answer to a whole lotta prayers, and a whole lotta people have been praying for Pastor Brunson and working to get his release", said Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) in an interview with WPTF radio in Raleigh. Coming on the heels of the confirmation of a conservative justice to the Supreme Court, Brunson's return is likely to leave evangelical Christians feeling good about the president and motivated get to the polls in the November 6 midterm elections.
"At this point I'm one of the most hated men in Turkey, probably", Brunson told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" Tuesday.
Brunson arrived in the USA hours before the meeting, stopping briefly in Germany for medical treatment after his release October 12 from two years' incarceration in Turkey.
"At the beginning I was held in solitary confinement for a number of days, and that was very hard", Brunson told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
"Lord God, I ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit on President Trump, that you give him supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him", said the freed pastor.
He continued: "I ask that you give him perseverance, and endurance and courage to stand for truth". "That he was concerned about the coming winter in August shows you how hopeless he thinks his situation is", Furnari said, adding her father told them, "My faith teaches me to forgive, so I forgive those who testified against me".
"I ask that you'd make him a great blessing to this country and fill him with your wisdom and strength and perseverance", Brunson prayed. "And we bless him. In Jesus' name we bless you".
Trump maintained the two cases were not linked, saying Brunson's release amid the Khashoggi investigation was "strict coincidence".
Tillis visited Brunson in Turkey twice, including attending his spring trial, and worked legislation into the defense authorization bill that penalized Turkey by denying sale of military jets.
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