BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:30 P.M.) – The Trump administration has rejected Turkey’s offer to release the U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, the AFP News Agency reported.
According to the AFP report, the Trump administration rejected Turkey’s offer because the latter asked to release Brunson in exchange for the U.S. clearing a top Turkish bank of billions of dollars in fines.
The deal reportedly included other American citizens and three Turkish nationals that were working for the U.S. government.
Turkey was looking to have the U.S. remove the billions of dollars in fines that Washington is likely to charge Halkbank with for helping Iran evade sanctions.
“A real NATO ally wouldn’t have arrested Brunson in the first place,” an unnamed official told the Wall Street Journal.
Brunson has been imprisoned in Turkey for over two years now; he was recently moved to house arrest after spending the better part of a year in a Turkish prison.