US Treasury sanctions 2 Turkish officials

US Treasury sanctions 2 Turkish officials

Pastor Andrew Brunson, a North Carolina native who was pastor of a Presbyterian church in Turkey, was arrested in 2016.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the United States. has grown exhausted of waiting for Turkish action on the matter.

"We believe he's a victim of unfair and unjust detention", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

The Turkish Anadolu Agency tweeted Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu's statement in which he said: "US attempt to impose sanctions on our two ministers will not go unanswered".

The Turkish lira slid to a record low Wednesday after the White House announced it would sanction the country over the detention of a USA pastor, dealing a fresh blow to what has been one of this year's worst-performing currencies.

Turkey is also angry at the United States for its refusal to extradite Gulen, who lives in exile in rural Pennsylvania and vehemently denies that he masterminded the failed 2016 coup bid.

The two officials, Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu, will have their assets and properties under USA jurisdiction blocked and Americans will be prohibited from engaging in financial transactions with them. "As a result, any property or interest in property of both ministers within USA jurisdiction is blocked and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them".

PM Modi speaks to Imran Khan, shares his vision of peace
His win also has been widely trumpeted as historic for breaking the decades-long two-party dominance of Pakistani politics. It even managed to beat PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in his party's historical stronghold of the Lyari neighbourhood.

The sanctions are being prepared under the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016, which allows the US government to target individuals, companies or other entities involved in corruption or human-rights abuses.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would meet with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss Brunson and the sanctions next week. The decision "will seriously damage the constructive efforts made in order to resolve problems between the two countries", the ministry said in a statement.

Now under house arrest, Brunson faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted of all charges. "There's no credible evidence of any wrongdoing against him", Pence said. The sanctions are modeled on those targeting the Russian government and oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin, the people said, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

"The biggest takeaway of all of this ... is we're finally seeing frustrations with Turkey coalesce across the USA government", she said.

"President Trump concluded that these sanctions are the appropriate action", Pompeo said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that the administration will continue its talks with Turkish officials even as the sanctions take effect.

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