Turkey could end its crisis with the United States “instantly” by freeing detained American Pastor Andrew Brunson.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton stated about the aforesaid in an interview with Reuters.
He added that a Qatari cash infusion would not help Ankara’s economy.
Asked if the US questioned Turkey’s membership in NATO given the standoff, Bolton said: “That’s not an issue at the moment. We’re focused on Pastor Brunson and the other Americans that the Turkish government’s holding illegitimately, and we expect that to get resolved.”
And commenting on Qatar’s Emir’s approval of a package of economic projects—including a $15bn pledge of support—for Turkey, John Bolton said: “I think what they pledged is utterly insufficient to have an impact on Turkey’s economy.”
The Brunson affair has caused tension between Ankara and Washington. Turkish authorities accuse Pastor Andrew Brunson of espionage, assisting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)—which is banned in Turkey, and the plotters of the deadly coup attempt in Turkey July 2016.
He is facing up to 35 years in prison.
Washington, however, believes that Brunson is innocent, and his arrest and trial have political motives.