Andrew Brunson: Hopes rise as U.S. pastor returns to court

NBC News: US Pastor to Be Released After Secret Turkey Deal

American Pastor Andrew Brunson may return to the USA soon after a secret deal was made between the US and Turkey, NBC News reported on Thursday.

Senior administration officials and a person briefed on the matter told NBC that, according to the agreement, "Brunson is supposed to be released after certain charges against him are dropped at his next court hearing, now scheduled for Friday".

"President Trump, our administration, has made it clear that we will continue to stand strong until pastor Brunson is free and back home in the USA with his family and his church", added Pence, a devout Christian who has worked to free Brunson for the last two years.

While Brunson's October 12 hearing was already scheduled weeks in advance, analysts say his possible release comes at an opportune time for Turkey, which is looking to win support from the U.S.as it faces a political crisis with the Saudis.

In July, Turkey moved Brunson from prison to house arrest because of health issues.

A senior Trump administration official said, however, that the administration is "not fully confident" Turkey will oblige by the terms of the agreement.

USA pastor Andrew Brunson, accompanied by Turkish security officers, arrives at Aliaga Prison and Courthouse complex in a vehicle in Izmir, Turkey October 12, 2018.

Brunson, a Christian preacher from North Carolina, became the center of a diplomatic row between Ankara and Washington after Turkey jailed him on terrorism charges.

NBC News reports that while the reasons for the sudden cooperation from Turkey are unclear, speculation is that Turkey is looking to ease the economic pressure that exists as a result of Brunson's situation.


The officials cited in the report, however, cautioned that Ankara may not follow through on the purported deal.

Turkish and American officials have made several attempts to reach a deal to release Brunson, but negotiations repeatedly failed over Turkey's rogue economic policy and disagreement over strategy in Syria.

"I'm very hopeful that before too long Pastor Brunson, he and his wife, will be able to return to the United States", Pompeo said in response to a question as he accepted an award from a pro-Israel group.

Officials remained cautious, however, in light of a deal that fell apart last summer, with both sides blaming each other for acting in bad faith.

However, US Vice-President Mike Pence would only say "we remain hopeful".

The Thursday comments come a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was hopeful that Turkey would release the pastor soon, ending a two-year detention that has shaken relations between the one-time allies.

Turkey and the USA have faced rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions over Brunson's detention.

More than 50,000 people were arrested in Turkey in President Erdogan's huge post-coup crackdown.

Related News:



Most liked

Photos and videos show mass destruction from 'Monstrous' Michael in Florida
The minimum wind speed of a Category 5 hurricane is 157 mph, meaning Michael missed that classification by 2 miles per hour. It weakened to a storm as it moved inland towards the north-east , but at least six people have died, majority in Florida.

Joe Scarborough: Kavanaugh Hearings ‘Were A Disaster for the Democratic Party’
Democrats say Trump's rhetoric since launching his 2016 campaign has been provocative, pugnacious and at times racist. More recent polling has also found voters' interest in Kavanaugh's confirmation overshadowed by other concerns.

UK Govt brushes off Brexit threat by N. Irish allies
For customs and VAT, Barnier said, "we propose using the existing customs procedures to avoid doing checks at the transit points".

Donald Trump has Kanye West for lunch at the White House
On Thursday, West attributed his support for the president to not having "a lot of male energy " in his home growing up. West also argued that Trump deserved more respect, saying: "if he don't look good, we don't look good".

How Princess Eugenie Will Honor Princess Diana on Her Wedding Day
Earlier this week, Eugenie posted a photo on Instagram of her and Beatrice as bridesmaids with the caption #tbt sisterly love. Unlike other royal weddings , the day will not be broadcast on BBC, with ITV's This Morning instead taking over the coverage.

Severino may have tipped pitches in Game 3 of ALDS
But as far as like clutch and showing up or not, I don't know. "So you know they'll find a way to watch both". I think he's going to make some adjustments and he'll be fine".

Apple will reportedly offer some original content for free via 'TV' app
Offering free original video content on Apple devices would definitely be one way of attracting and maintaining customers. It appears that Apple will, at least initially, use its TV app as a springboard.

Red Sox beat Yankees, advance to ALCS
Christian Vásquez tacked on a solo home run in the fourth inning off of Zach Britton to push the lead to 4-0. They won, somehow, and now and again it's left to the Yankees to deal with a winter of what-ifs.

Kanye calls himself a 'crazy motherf***er' in Oval Office meeting with Trump
If we can do it a different way, Kanye , I'm totally open but they all - we all agree that we have to do something", Trump said. Here's what West said: "We feel stop-and-frisk does not help relationships in the city".

Google, Xiaomi Announces Mi Box S Android TV Streaming Block
Thanks to Google Assistant , the Mi Box S will also control your supported smart home devices such as the thermostat and lights. The result of which is there are very little differences inside and out between the original Mi Box and the new Mi Box S.

Donald Trump says Fed has 'gone crazy' after Dow Industrial Average tumbles
It is often tied to higher costs of borrowing for the federal government, which can spook investors. The Federal Reserve is mandated by Congress to aim for low inflation and low unemployment.

Pre-order ASUS' ROG gaming phone on October 18th
The gaming phone market is quite small but it's one of those nitches that could easily catch on if given the proper attention. A NY event on October 18 was teased Thursday on Asus North America's Twitter page showing the back of the ROG Phone .

Russian Federation opens criminal probe over failed rocket launch
But something went wrong minutes after liftoff, sending the Soyuz capsule into a ballistic re-entry, NASA officials said. Rescue crews were quick to reach the site where Hague and Ovchinin came down, Russian news agencies said.

Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop gets new Base, Limited models
Even if you opt for the pricier of the two, it's still cheaper than the previous version, with the benefit of bulk storage. The rest, however, remain the same, including the 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor and NVIDIA GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU.

WhatsApp Fixes Bug That Could Let Hackers Crash App During Calls
This corrupted the WhatsApp app's heap memory, and the attacks could be used against both iOS and Android users. The move has been making the rounds ever since Facebook acquired WhatsApp, the report added.