Turkey will respond if US imposes more sanctions — trade minister

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump have been in a tit-for-tat retaliatory moves as dispute between the two countries worsens. (AFP)
Updated 17 August 2018
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Turkey will respond if US imposes more sanctions — trade minister

  • American pastor’s detention in Turkey has sparked a diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency
  • Washington warned Thursday that it would impose more sanctions unless the pastor was released

ISTANBUL: Turkey on Friday threatened to respond if the United States levied further sanctions over the detention of an American pastor, which has sparked a diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency.
“We’ve already responded based on the World Trade Organization rules and will continue to do so,” Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.
Washington warned on Thursday that it would impose more sanctions unless pastor Andrew Brunson, described by US President Donald Trump as a “hostage,” was released.
Brunson’s detention since October 2016 on terror-related charges has soured relations between the two NATO allies, sending the Turkish lira into a tailspin.
The lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, was at 5.8 against the dollar and 6.7 against euro on Friday.
Last week, Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey, and in response Ankara sharply hiked tariffs on some US products.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Thursday the next spiral of tit-for-tat sanctions was coming soon, in a sign of a deepening spat.
Trump prefaced Mnuchin’s remarks by saying that Turkey had not been a very good friend to America.
Referring to Brunson, Trump said: “They have a great Christian pastor there, he’s a very innocent man.”


Migrants forced off ship after refusing to return to Libya

Updated 38 sec ago
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Migrants forced off ship after refusing to return to Libya

CAIRO: An international rights group says Libyan authorities have forcibly removed dozens of migrants who had barricaded themselves in a container ship in the port city of Misrata for the past 10 days after being picked up at sea.
The migrants had refused to disembark, saying Libya is too dangerous for them.
Human Rights Watch says Wednesday some migrants were taken to hospital late Tuesday while others were taken to a detention center in Misrata.
The migrants were attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe and were rescued by a cargo ship, Nivin, that brought them to Libya.
Judith Sunderland of HRW says “this is the worst possible conclusion to the desperate plea of the people on board the Nivin to avoid inhuman detention in Libya.”