Turkey frees US pastor Andrew Brunson after two years detention

ALIAGA: A Turkish court on Friday ordered the release of an American pastor held for the last two years in Turkey, in a case that sparked a crisis in ties with the United States. US broadcaster NBC said Turkey and the United States had reached a secret deal for Brunson to be released on Friday and some charges against him dropped, in exchange for the US easing “economic pressure” that included sanctions which have hammered the lira. He had faced up to 35 years in jail on charges of aiding terror groups and espionage. Erdogan, who had a brief handshake with Trump on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly in September, has said he hoped to rebuild relations with Washington with the “spirit of strategic partnership. “US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he hoped for the swift return to the United States of an American pastor freed by Turkey after two years in detention.

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