USA says ready with more sanctions if Turkey does not free pastor


"We have stood together and will continue to do so", he said, making clear the high-level meeting was meant to communicate unequivocal support for Turkey at a critical juncture.

During the meeting, Trump remarked that Turkey has "not proven to be a good friend".

Last week, the USA doubled its tariffs on metal imports from Turkey.

Turkey's battered lira weakened 3 percent after a Turkish court rejected an American pastor's appeal for release.

On Friday, the Turkish lira, which suffered record losses against the dollar earlier this week before recovering, fell about 5 percent, to about 6.11 to the dollar, after President Trump warned via Twitter that the country faces more punitive measures.

Iran has been furious over US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an global agreement on Iran's nuclear program and re-impose sanctions on Tehran.

Mr Trump said: "They want to hold our wonderful pastor". "They have invested a lot of pressure into the release of Brunson, given the importance of the midterm elections in the US". Both Brunson and top U.S. officials say the accusations are false.

"Similarly, there has been no improvement in relations with the United States and additional sanctions may be on the horizon".

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His case now lies at the heart of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the United States that has prompted a crash of Turkey's lira currency. But Turkey's central bank has been slow to raise rates, and latterly it has taken to not raising them at all: it held the benchmark one-week repo rate at 17.75 per cent in July even as economists were expecting a one-percentage-point increase.

Turkey's finance minister Berat Albayrak has insisted that the country will come out out the currency crises stronger.

In recent weeks, the United States has sanctioned a pair of Turkish cabinet members, and dramatically increased tariffs against the nation, fueling anger among Turkish leaders and creating economic uncertainty across the region.

Despite the strengthening of the Turkish lira recently, on the heels of the government and central bank measures, experts still consider that this rebound is temporary and the currency will drop to seven or eight lira against one U.S. dollar.

Erdogan has cast the tariffs, and the sell-off in the lira, as an "economic war" against Turkey.

Turkey has also in recent days shown an interest in repairing ties with Europe after a crisis sparked by Ankara's crackdown on alleged plotters of the 2016 failed coup. Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for over twenty years and led a small church in the southwestern coastal town of Izmir, was jailed for almost two years following the failed 2016 coup.

Turkey's image overseas is especially crucial because much of its growth has been fueled by foreign credit.

The slide sent jitters across emerging market currencies.