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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Pompeo urges Turkey to release remaining detained Americans

Pompeo tweeted in the wake of Pastor Brunton's release. AFP
Pompeo tweeted in the wake of Pastor Brunton's release. AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged Turkey to quickly release other Americans in detention after it freed a pastor at the centre of a crisis in relations.

"Pastor (Andrew) Brunson is finally coming home to America, following a long ordeal for the pastor and his family. We hope that the Turkish government will quickly release our other detained U.S. citizens and State Department locally employed staff," Pompeo tweeted.

"The world should know that (President Donald Trump) and the State Department continue to work hard to bring home all American hostages and those wrongfully imprisoned and detained," he tweeted.

The United States had imposed tariffs and sanctioned senior government officials to pressure Turkey on Brunson, whose two-year detention had particularly outraged Trump's conservative Christian base.

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Read more:

Turkish court frees US pastor Andrew Brunson

Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan can't escape his problems, home or abroad

Donald Trump: US won't concede anything for Turkey to release pastor

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But two Turkish employees of US diplomatic missions remain in jail. One of them, former Adana consulate staffer Hamza Ulucay, was Friday denied release in a separate court hearing.

And NASA scientist Serkan Golge, a dual US-Turkish national, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years in February on terror charges, a term reduced to a five years last month.