No decision on Turkey sanctions yet, top US diplomat says

President Donald Trump and American evangelical Christian preacher Andrew Brunson participate in a prayer in the Oval Office a day after Brunson was released from a Turkish jail at the White House

President Donald Trump and American evangelical Christian preacher Andrew Brunson participate in a prayer in the Oval Office a day after Brunson was released from a Turkish jail at the White House

Brunson, 50, arrived in the Oval Office on Saturday afternoon after being freed from a Turkish prison on Friday and flying to Germany for a medical checkup at a USA military hospital.

The lawyer for USA evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson said on Wednesday he had appealed to a Turkish court against the jail sentence his client received last week for terrorism offences.

Trump hailed the release, which has been seen as an opening for Ankara and Washington to restore frayed ties, including with Pompeo, who met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier Wednesday.

"We'll have a decision on that shortly but some of the sanctions that were put in place were directly connected to Pastor Brunson and there's a logic to now removing those as well", Pompeo told reporters as his plane refuelled in Brussels, Belgium.

"I ask that you give him wisdom in how to lead this country into righteousness".

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"After an eventful hearing [on October 12], the court sentenced Brunson to three years and one month in prison for aiding a terrorist organization, while ruling for his release from house arrest pending appeals procedures", Hurriyet Daily News reported. Brunson's wife Noreen (left) is seated next to Brunson.

Brunson told Hannity: "What was surprising is that they told me I was being held for terrorism and for trying to overthrow the government". I ask that you to protect him from slander from enemies, from those who would undermine. "And it's your faith, it's your strength, what you've gone through". "It was very hard to be the only Christian among them".

"I know from dealing with the consulate [in Turkey]", Brunson said, "that they weren't only engaging for me, that they're engaging for everyone there".

Brunson was overcome being able to give devotions to Trump. "The Secretary welcomed the decision to return Pastor Andrew Brunson".

Brunson declined to discuss his imprisonment in the meeting, which was attended by Norine, their daughter Jacqueline and sons Blaise and Jordan, Jacqueline's husband Kevin and Norine's brother Neil. "We do not pay ransom in this country..." "We want to spend time with our children especially and then take some time to pray and see what God wants for the next part of our lives". I ask that you give him perseverance, and endurance and courage to stand for truth. "And we bless him. In Jesus' name we bless you".

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