Turkey: The Authority Makes The Release Of Pastor Andrew Brunson A Business Deal

The Trump White House has turned down an offer from the Turkish government to release imprisoned evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the White House rejected an offer from Ankara to release the imprisoned North Carolina native in exchange for the United States' forgiveness of billions of dollars of fines against one of Turkey's largest state lenders, citing an unnamed senior White House official.

According to the official, Turkey offered to release Brunson if the U.S. drops its investigation in Halkbank (formerly known as Turkiye Halk Bankasi), which faces fines for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

However, the Trump administration has reportedly told its NATO ally that it will not discuss the Halkbank situation or other issues until Turkish authorities release the 50-year-old Brunson.

Brunson was placed under house arrest last month after spending about a year-and-a-half in prison on what the U.S. says is baseless charges of terrorism that President Donald Trump has called "phony."Brunson, who has ministered in Izmir for two decades, is accused of having connections to an Islamic group blamed for the 2016 coup attempt against the Erdogan government and to Kurdish militants. Brunson, who spent 17 months in prison before being charged with a crime, has denied all the charges.

"A real NATO ally wouldn't have arrested Brunson in the first place," the White House official was quoted as saying.

Source: https://www.christianpost.com/news/white-house-rejects-turkey-trade-offer-release-andrew-brunson-226898/