US Embassy reiterates friendship with Turkey despite tensions

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The US Embassy in Ankara / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

The Embassy of the United States in Ankara has stressed friendship with Turkey despite ongoing tensions, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

“The United States continues to be a firm friend and ally of Turkey despite current tensions. Our countries have a vibrant economic relationship,” the embassy tweeted on Tuesday.

The embassy also refuted a claim reported by a number of media outlets in Turkey that suggested an “American official” predicted the US dollar would soon be equal to seven Turkish lira.

“This is a fabricated, baseless lie,” the embassy said in another tweet.

It was earlier reported that Turkey and the US reached a preliminary agreement concerning the arrest and trial of American pastor Andrew Brunson, which led to sanctions imposed by the US on two Turkish ministers.

According to sources speaking to the Hürriyet daily, the agreement covers “certain subjects,” and a Turkish delegation is scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., in the coming days to “finalize the details.”

The Turkish delegation will be headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal, a ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Brunson, who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of İzmir, is at the center of one of the most serious crises in relations between the NATO allies in years.

The pastor was moved to house arrest last month after nearly two years in pretrial detention on charges of “terrorism” and “espionage,” but the move only increased tensions.

The US responded to the failure to fully free Brunson by hitting two top Turkish ministers with sanctions, prompting Ankara to announce a similar measure.

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