Detained U.S. pastor 'needs to come home,' Pompeo warns Turkey


"We've seen no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong and we believe he is a victim of unfair and unjust detention by the government of Turkey", White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders emphasized to reporters Wednesday.

Asked if the issue threatened Turkey's membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Pompeo said: "Turkey is a NATO partner whom the United States has every intention of continuing to work cooperatively with".

"The decision, which disrespectfully intervenes in our judicial system, will seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries", Ankara's foreign ministry said.

Pompeo discussed the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been in custody in Turkey since 2016 on terror charges.

"Of course, it can not be expected to solve all these crises or problems in one meeting", he added.

Meanwhile, Turkey has said the U.S. demands for the pastor's release are "unacceptable".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Singapore, their first meeting since the crisis began.

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By mid afternoon, hundreds were waiting to get in, verbally clashing at times with groups of protesters also assembling nearby. Scott, faces a much tighter race, and skipped the Trump rally instead attending a fundraiser.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will seek worldwide arbitration if the Trump administration fails to deliver the fighter jets.

The State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that Pompeo and Cavusoglu spoke about a number of issues and had a "constructive" conversation.

The former prime minister's position echoes that of the Turkish government.

A leading Turkish opposition party wants to make it personal in the increasingly nasty clash between Ankara and Washington, saying Turkey should retaliate for economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration by seizing the Trump Towers complex that are one of the most prominent features of the Istanbul skyline.

"They've been holding these folks for a long time". "We repeated to them that nothing can be achieved through threatening language and sanctions and we believe that this was well understood", he said. It urged Trump to reconsider the sanctions.

The pastor denies the charges while United States officials have publicly insisted that Brunson is innocent and should be freed.