Turkish, American top diplomats meet for first time after sanctions

Turkish, American top diplomats meet for first time after sanctions


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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a key meeting in Singapore just two days after the latter imposed sanctions on its NATO ally, in a sign of the continuation of the diplomatic track between the two countries.

The meeting which begun at 7.30 a.m. local time and ended 8.10 a.m. took place in Singapore on the margins of the ASEAN foreign ministerial summit.

"We have always been for diplomacy, dialogue and mutual understanding. But we also stressed that threatening language and sanctions will not produce any results. Of course, these problems cannot be solved with one meeting but we have agreed to work closely to solve them," Çavuşoğlu told journalists after the meeting, which he described as "constructive."

Pompeo, on the other hand, said that their decision for sanctions is "a demonstration that [the U.S. is] very serious" about the demand of Brunson's release.

"They spoke about a number of issues, and had a constructive conversation. They agreed to continue to try to resolve the issues between our two countries," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo held three phone conversations in the last few days following the U.S. administration’s measures against Turkey.

The U.S. announced sanctions on Turkey’s justice and interior ministers on the grounds their responsibility for implementing serious human rights violations against imprisoned Pastor Andrew Brunson. Turkey said it will retaliate the sanctions in the same way.

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