Trump: US will pay nothing for pastor

The U.S. President Donald Trump said he will pay nothing to Ankara for the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

“Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years. They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage. We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!” he tweeted.

Since the beginning of the year, the Turkish lira has lost over 30%, but the situation has sharply deteriorated amid the diplomatic scandal between Ankara and Washington in connection with the case of US pastor Andrew Brunson as the latter is judged for espionage and assistance to terrorists, while Washington insists on his innocence and demands immediate release.

Last week, the Turkish delegation visited Washington to settle disagreements, but the sides could not reach an agreement. Moreover, after the Turks’ visit, President Donald Trump increased tariffs on the Turkish steel and aluminum imports by 20% and 50% respectively.