09:57 GMT +324 March 2019
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    Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Acting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo take part in a working dinner at the Park of the Cinquantenaire, during a NATO Summit, in central Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018

    Top US, Turkish Diplomats Agree to Keep Trying to Solve Bilateral Issues

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu have agreed to keep trying to resolve the issues between Washington and Ankara, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a readout after a meeting between the two leaders in Singapore on Friday.

    "They spoke about a number of issues, and had a constructive conversation," Nauert said. "They agreed to continue to try to resolve the issues between our two countries."

    The meeting between Pompeo and Cavusoglu comes just days after the United States introduced new sanctions against senior Turkish officials over the ongoing detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

    READ MORE: Turkish FM to Mike Pompeo: US Threats and Sanctions Won't Work

    On Wednesday, the United States announced that it was imposing sanctions on Turkey's Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu for their leading roles in Brunson's imprisonment, as well as alleged human rights abuses committed by Turkish state agencies. The US sanctions will freeze the two ministers' assets abroad and prohibit US citizens from engaging in any transactions with them.

    Turkish officials including Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak have criticized the US actions.

    Turkey jailed Brunson about two years ago for his alleged ties to the movement founded by Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara has accused of orchestrating the 2016 failed military coup. The pastor was released from a Turkish prison last week and placed under house arrest.


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