The United States threatened Thursday a Turkey that was already shocked by the collapse of the pound with new sanctions as an American preacher, again described as "hostage" by Donald Trump, was not released
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin warned that the United States would take additional sanctions against Ankara if Washington did not obtain the release of Reverend Andrew Brunson.
"We intend to do more if we do not let go," he said during a meeting in the White House of the cabinet and the chief ministers of President Trump.
Pastor Brunson, in the middle of the diplomatic storm between the two allies of NATO, was put under house arrest last month after more than one and a half years of imprisonment. He is accused by Ankara of espionage and "terrorist" activities.
President Trump, who spoke for Mr. Mnuchin, again defended the predecessor, "a very innocent man" according to him and ruled that Turkey was not a very good "friend".
During the evening he spoke again about this subject, this time on Twitter.
"Turkey has been using the United States for many years, they stop our beautiful Christian pastor, to whom I must now ask to represent our country as patriotic patriot." We will not pay anything for the liberation of & # 39; an innocent man, "he wrote.
The powerful Turkish minister of finance, Berat Albayrak, who is also the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had previously assured that his country would "become even stronger" from the pound crisis, whose value this year with 40 % has weakened against the dollar.
During a teleconference with several thousand investors, he also indicated that his country was not in contact with the International Monetary Fund for a possible plan of assistance and that Ankara would not take control of the capital.
These announcements have reassured the markets relatively well and have allowed the pound to once again take colors for the third day immediately  9002] – Restorative Turkish Lira –
The future of Pastor Brunson is still very vague . A Turkish court on Wednesday dismissed the lifting of his house arrest, but his lawyer told AFP that another higher court this week still had to rule.
This diplomatic quarrel took place in economic repercussions, Ankara and Washington have imposed mutual sanctions in recent weeks and increased their respective customs tariffs.
Vice President Mike Pence, evangelical Christian like Mr. Brunson, has appointed the pastor as a "victim of religious persecution" in a Turkey with a Muslim majority.
These latest American statements could put more pressure on the Turkish lira, which has shown signs of recovery since Tuesday, thanks in particular to measures by Ankara that limit speculation of foreign banks. 19659002] Despite the recovery of the pound in recent days, economists remain worried about the dispute between Ankara and Was hington and Erdogan's stranglehold on the economy
Markets have the central bank's refusal to change interest rates last month increase severely punished despite the collapse of national currency galloping inflation. Erdogan, a proponent of growth at any price, is fiercely against this.
According to a statement of his services, Mr. Albayrak investors Thursday that his government would have two priorities: fighting inflation, which has reached nearly 16% year-on-year in July and fiscal discipline.
– Interview with Macron –
In the financial turmoil Turkey received heavy support Wednesday: the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Al-Thani, promised in an interview with Erdogan in Ankara that his country would invest $ 15 billion .
Sign that the crisis with Washington also encourages Turkey to reconnect with Europe Erdogan met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday and Thursday with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron
According to Ankara, MM. Erdogan and Macron emphasized in this exchange "the importance of further strengthening economic relations" between their two countries.
M. Albayrak spoke with his German counterpart Olaf Scholz
On Tuesday, the Turkish judge ordered the release of two Greek soldiers and on Wednesday the president of Amnesty International in Turkey, unexpected decisions in two Companies that contributed to strengthening relations between this country and the European states.
"These releases are clearly no coincidence," notes a European diplomatic source.
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