The United States has warned Turkey that they could face more economic sanctions unless it hands over detained American pastor, Andrew Brunson. This was stated by the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a cabinet meeting yesterday.
Mnuchin assured President Donald Trump that sanctions were ready to be put in place if Brunson was not freed immediately. Mr Trump said at the cabinet meeting that holding a very innocent man, Turkey has not proven to be a good friend of the United States.
The United States and Turkey have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs in an escalating attempt by Trump to induce Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan into giving up Brunson, who denies charges that he was involved in a coup attempt against Erdogan two years ago.
The dispute between the countries has driven Turkey’s currency, the lira, to record lows. The Turkish government has also raised tariffs on some US imports, including bourbon and automobiles, in retaliation for Washington’s extra levies.