21:21 GMT +313 December 2018
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    In this Sept. 24, 2013 file photo, Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pa.

    State Dept: White House Not Involved in Any Gulen Extradition Discussions

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The White House has not taken any steps with respect to extraditing US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen amid the developments in the case of murdered Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi, US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press briefing.

    NBC News’ reported on Thursday President Donald Trump is looking for ways to remove Gulen from the United States to appease Turkey and ease pressure on the government of Saudi Arabia.

    "The White House has not been involved in any discussions [with Turkish authorities] related to the extradition of Fethullah Gulen," Nauert said on Thursday.

    Nauert added Washington is continuing to evaluate the materials that the Turkish government's request for Gulen's removal.

    Nauert said the Gulen and Khashoggi cases are not related and added that the two issues stay separated.

    Earlier on Thursday, the United States sanctioned 17 individuals involved in the murder Khashoggi.

    READ MORE: White House Mulling to Extradite Gulen From US to Appease Erdogan — Reports

    Nauert said there may be additional actions taken against Saudi Arabia as the investigation into the Khashoggi murder is ongoing.

    Turkey has accused Gulen, who has been living in the United States since 1999, of orchestrating a failed military coup on July 15, 2016. Gulen repeatedly denied taking part in the coup.

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    discussion, extradition, Jamal Khashoggi, Heather Nauert, Fethullah Gulen, Turkey, United States, Saudi Arabia
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