IMF: No indication Turkey considering IMF financial assistance

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A security guard looks on outside the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters in Washington, DC, during the 2017 IMF Annual Meetings on October 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson said on Wednesday that there was no indication that Turkish authorities are considering asking for financial assistance from the Washington-based fund, as a row between the US and Turkey over the jailing of an American pastor continues, Reuters reported.

“In light of recent market volatility, the new administration will need to demonstrate a commitment to sound economic policies to promote macroeconomic stability and reduce imbalances, while ensuring full operational independence to the central bank to pursue its mandate of securing price stability,” said the spokesperson, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The fund was monitoring the situation closely, the spokesperson added.

Turkey has been facing a currency crisis since its relations with the US administration were dramatically strained over a court decision to put American pastor Brunson under house arrest after almost two years in pretrial detention rather than release him as demanded by the US administration.

Following the court ruling US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threatened to impose “large sanctions” on Turkey if Brunson were not freed.

After imposing economic sanctions on two Turkish ministers on Aug. 1 for their role in the detention of evangelical pastor Brunson, President Trump on Friday ramped up his sanctions on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

US Vice President Pence on Wednesday tweeted that Turkey should not test Trump’s resolve to see the return to the United States of Americans wrongfully imprisoned in foreign countries.

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