In the latest episode of the ongoing diplomatic standoff between the United States and Turkey, President Donald Trump categorically refused the notion that he might agree to and concede to some or any of Turkey’s demands to secure the release of American pastor, Andrew Brunson. This follows a tit-for-tat action by Turkey after it imposed increased tariffs on American imports to its country like luxury cars and electronics, which in turn followed American tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum exports.
Speaking to Reuters, President Donald Trump called the standoff ‘sad,’ and stated that Turkish actions are a mistake. President Trump went on to say that it was the White House’s understanding that Brunson would be released after American assistance in releasing a Turkish citizen in Israel.
“I got that person out for him. I expect him to let this very innocent and wonderful man and great father and great Christian out of Turkey,” President Trump said. He further said that he ‘isn’t concerned’ by the economic damage to European and emerging markets this standoff might cause.
“There will be no concessions made,” President Donald Trump declared.
The pastor in question, Andrew Brunson was arrested by the Turkish government for his alleged involvement in the failed coup attempt against President Erdogan in 2016. However, Brunson himself has denied these accusations and has pled his innocence to any details of the 2016 plot.
Turkey is also keen for the United States to release prominent cleric, Fethullah Gulen to Turkey’s custody. Gulen, Turkey says, masterminded the aforementioned 2016 coup plot from the United States. However, the US has refused to do so.
The latest episode is yet another low point in the relationship between the United States and Turkey, a relationship where the latter today is considering buying Russian missiles against the advice of its NATO ally.