Turkey rejects Washington’s threats to impose sanctions

BAGHDAD, Turkey has rejected US threats after US President Donald Trump vowed to impose sanctions on Ankara if the US pastor, Andrew Branson, was not released.

"No one can issue an order to Turkey, we will never accept threats whatever their source," Turkish Foreign Minister Mouloud Gawishoglu wrote in a tweet on Twitter. "The rule of law applies to everyone without exception."

US President Donald Trump on Thursday called for the immediate release of the US pastor, who has been held under house arrest and is still on trial for "terrorism" and "espionage."

"The United States will impose severe sanctions on Turkey for its long detention of Andrew Branson, a wonderful Christian and a family leader," the president said shortly after his deputy, Mike Bens, threatened to impose sanctions on Ankara, "he said.

The arrest of Rev. Branson is one of the most outstanding issues, pushing for strained relations between Washington and Ankara.

The priest was arrested in Turkey in October 2016 and tried since last spring on charges of "terrorism and espionage."

Source: National Iraqi News Agency