Turkey to retaliate against any US sanctions over terror-linked pastor Brunson's case

Published 31.07.2018 18:21
Updated 31.07.2018 18:55
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Turkey will not accept any threats regarding the ongoing legal procedures of jailed U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson and will retaliate against any U.S. sanctions over his trial, Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın said Tuesday after a cabinet meeting in Ankara.

Despite the warning against sanctions, Kalın said Turkey expects the two countries to resolve their differences through diplomacy.

The case of Brunson, who was jailed for his links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and the PKK, has been a thorny issue between Turkey and the U.S. Washington has repeatedly called for the release of Brunson, claiming he was "unjustly detained."

The Turkish government has repeatedly told Washington that Brunson's case is being handled by the courts and the government cannot intervene.

A court in the western city of Izmir previously ordered his imprisonment to be commuted to house arrest last week, citing Brunson's health problems.

Regarding cooperation with the United States on F-35 fighter jets, the presidential spokesperson underlined that it was "a multinational project."

"Turkey will take legal action if any measures are taken to prevent the delivery," he added, saying that Turkey has alternatives and is "not a country that can be easily dispensed with."

The Turkish defense industry has been playing an active role in the production of the fifth generation F-35 fighter jets and the first two jets of the 30 approved were delivered to Turkish officials last month.

Apart from Turkey, the U.S., U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Norway and Denmark are also present as participant members of the F-35 fighter jet program.

The U.S. Senate previously tried to prohibit the sales of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets to Turkey, citing the purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia and detaining U.S. citizens as the reasons.

Kalın also announced that the new government's action plan for the first 100 days in office will be revealed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday.

"The strategic plan for the 2019-2023 period will be finalized by the end of November," he added.

The new cabinet was revealed on July 9, following the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The spokesperson said Turkey's determined fight against terrorism and foreign policy issues were also discussed during the cabinet meeting

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