NewsPoliticsTop News

US relations with Turkey threatened as long as US priest remains in prison

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) –┬áThe relationship between the United States and Turkey will likely be under pressure as long as a US priest remains in jail, a US official said on Monday.

A Turkish court on Monday began hearing charges against Pastor Andrew Branson, from North Carolina, that he was linked to the group that orchestrated the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. Branson has been in Turkey for more than 20 years and has denied the charges.

“The United States is keen on our relationship with Turkey,” Sam Brownback, the US ambassador to international religious freedom, told reporters during a trial break.

“This relationship will have a hard time moving forward as long as Andrew Branson remains locked in,” he said.