Pompeo: Despite tensions, Turkey remains a key United States ally

Andrew Brunson was accused of being involved in the failed coup attempt

Andrew Brunson was accused of being involved in the failed coup attemptAFP GETTY IMAGES

"Brunson needs to come home, as do all the Americans being held by the Turkish government", Pompeo told reporters before the meeting.

"Pretty straightforward", Pompeo said.

Washington and Ankara are also at odds over the Syrian war, Turkey's plan to buy missile defenses from Russian Federation and the USA conviction of a Turkish state bank executive on Iran sanctions-busting charges this year.

Cavusoglu told Turkish press that the meeting was "constructive", but also spoke out against the sanctions.

Also caught in the spat is a plan for the United States military to deliver new F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.

Speaking to Turkish journalists after the meeting, Cavusoglu also described the discussion with Pompeo as "constructive", but added: "Nothing can be achieved through threatening language and sanctions".

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Erdogan said in a speech on Friday that his country was "face to face with an economic war", from which Ankara "will emerge victorious".

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Brunson, 50, is being tried on espionage and terror-related charges, which he and the USA government vehemently deny.

On the sanctions, he said: "I hope they'll see this for what it is, a demonstration that we're very serious".

Ankara claims Brunson has ties to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who it says was behind a 2016 failed coup attempt, and the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Pastor Brunson was arrested in Izmir, Turkey in October 2016, and was accused without any evidence of helping terrorist groups and of engaging in espionage.

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Last week, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if Brunson was not immediately released.

Washington this week imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the case of Andrew Brunson, a USA pastor on trial in Turkey accused of backing terrorism.

Turkish Finance Minister and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, said both sides wanted to continue dialogue.

The meeting was the first between the countries' officials after Ankara vowed it would respond to sanctions with retaliatory measures.

His language was immediately echoed by President Donald Trump, who had enjoyed a relatively warm relationship with Mr Erdogan and was even reported to have "fist-bumped" the Turkish president at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit last month.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the USA since 1999, has denied any role in the 2016 coup attempt.

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