Pompeo: Despite tensions, Turkey remains a key U.S. ally

US imposes sanctions on Turkey as Lira drops and Turkey threatens retaliation

Pompeo told reporters on the sidelines of an Asian security forum in Singapore that the two countries would continue to work with each other in the framework of the alliance and on other matters.

The Turkish foreign ministry called on the USA to reverse its "wrong decision" on Thursday after Washington announced sanctions on Abdulhamit Gul, the minister of justice, and Suleyman Soylu, the minister of interior.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed Turkey on Friday for the release of detained American pastor Andrew Brunson, warning that the issue was "very serious".

Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also Erdogan's son-in-law, said the sanctions were unacceptable and would have a limited impact on the Turkish economy.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that Brunson was a "victim of unfair and unjust attention by the government of Turkey" as she announced sanctions.

Cavusoglu called his meeting with Pompeo "constructive". They have been at odds over numerous matters, including military activity in northern Syria and Turkey's plans to purchase an advanced air defense system from Russian Federation.

"Since the beginning we said that a solution can not be reached by using threatening language and sanctions", the minister added.

The Foreign Ministry strongly protested against the U.S. Treasury Department's decision, calling on the U.S. administration to reverse its "wrong decision".

United States sanctioning Turkish officials over detention of American pastor - White House
The US has imposed sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over the continued detention of pastor Andrew Brunson. Language that calls for the release of Mr Brunson and others has also been included in a defence authorisation bill.

Pastor Brunson was arrested in Izmir, Turkey in October 2016, and was accused without any evidence of helping terrorist groups and of engaging in espionage.

He was recently released from prison and put under house arrest but still faces a sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted at his ongoing trial.

Before his move home last week, Brunson, who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir, had spent almost two years in jail.

"Brunson needs to come home, as do all the Americans being held by the Turkish government".

But Brunson's case has resonated with U.S. President Donald Trump and more particularly with Vice President Mike Pence.

Brunson was accused of helping supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the US -based cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan in which 250 people were killed.

It added that the US' "aggressive attitude serves no goal", and vowed that it would respond in equal measure.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, has denied any role in the 2016 coup attempt.

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