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    U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson reacts as he arrives at his home after being released from the prison in Izmir, Turkey July 25, 2018

    State Dept. Says There's ‘Excellent Prospect’ That Pastor Brunson Will Return

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Department of State believes that the prospects for Pastor Andrew Brunson to return to the United States from Turkey are very good, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback told reporters.

    "There is excellent prospect that he is going to come home. This issue has been raised with Turkey for some months now. It’s been raised in many forums. It’s been raised by every level of government," Brownback said on Thursday. "The charges are specious. We’ve reviewed them at length and depth and I believe he will be coming home."

    Earlier on Thursday, US President Donald Trump said that the United States will impose sanctions on Turkey if Ankara does not free Brunson.

    Brunson was released from a Turkish prison on Tuesday and placed under house arrest.

    Turkish authorities put Brunson in jail saying he threatened Turkey’s national security by having ties to the organizers of the July 2016 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    READ MORE: Trump Calls on Erdogan to Free US Pastor From Turkish Jail

    According to US media, Brunson and his wife ran a ministry in the Turkish town of Izmir for nearly 20 years.

    Related:

    State Dept Insists American Pastor on Trial in Turkey Not Guilty
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