Turkish top diplomat, US counterpart talk over phone

Turkish top diplomat, US counterpart talk over phone
Turkish top diplomat, US counterpart talk over phone

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has spoken with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the phone, according to a Turkish diplomatic source on Saturday.

No further details were released.

The conversation follows Thursday’s phone call between Cavusoglu and Pompeo after Turkey responded to remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump when he threatened the country with sanctions unless Ankara released a detained American pastor.

In a move seen as an attempt to interfere with the judiciary of NATO-member Turkey, Trump tweeted: “The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their longtime detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.”

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had responded to the threat in a tweet: “No one dictates Turkey. We will never tolerate threats from anybody. Rule of law is for everyone; no exception.”

Brunson was moved from jail and placed under house arrest Wednesday after being detained in the Aegean province of Izmir in December 2016.

He was charged with spying for the PKK — a designated terrorist group in the U.S. and Turkey — and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group Turkey accuses of orchestrating the defeated July 2016 coup attempt.

Earlier on Saturday, Cavusoglu also spoke with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir.

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