US, Turkey agree to try to resolve disputes after relations dive

Turkey has repeatedly said Brunson's case is being handled by the courts and the government cannot intervene

Brunson was moved to house arrest last week following almost two years in jail on terror-related charges but the change only increased tensions.

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

Turkey has said the sanctions were unacceptable.

Brunson, who ran a small church in Turkey for more than 20 years, was arrested in December 2016 over allegations of having helped a group that Ankara says was behind a failed military coup in July 2016.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Anitkabir, the mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk yesterday.

Speaking to the women's wing of his AK Party, Erdogan said he gave orders for assets in Turkey belonging to the US interior and justice ministers to be frozen "if they have any".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu agreed on Friday to try to resolve a series of disputes, after relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies sank to their lowest point in decades.

Erdogan said Turkey will never step back from defence industry projects, saying 48 out of the 400 projects are related to the defence industry.

More news: Turkey, US in diplomatic row after ministers’ sanctions

The NATO allies are also at odds over the Syrian war, Turkey's plan to buy missile defences from Russian Federation and the US conviction of a Turkish state bank executive on Iran sanctions-busting charges this year.

Erdogan, who is known for his sometimes provocative anti-Western rhetoric, has yet to comment.

Some analysts have argued Turkey is wary of allowing any further escalation in the crisis, which has already sent the lira to record lows in value against the dollar of above 5 for the first time.

The US Treasury Department is sanctioning Turkey's ministers of justice and interior in response to the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday. He denies the charges but faces up to 35 years in jail.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who shares Brunson's evangelical Christian faith, have made his release a priority.

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

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the USA focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the Syrian city in order to stabilize the region.

"Everyone's very disappointed. Nobody expected this kind of treatment (toward) two Cabinet ministers", said Ilnur Cevik, a senior adviser to Turkish strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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