08:20 GMT +316 December 2018
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    Andrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey.

    Erdogan Replies to Trump's 'Thank You' for Aiding in US Pastor Brunson's Release

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    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded to the latest Trump's tweets concerning the case of US pastor Andrew Brunson, recently released by a Turkish court.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken to Twitter to the release of American pastor Brunson, whose detention had aggravated the relations between Washington and Ankara.

    "Dear Mr. President, as I always pointed out, the Turkish judiciary reached its decision independently," he wrote on his Twitter account. "I hope that the United States and Turkey will continue their cooperation as the allies that they are, and fight together against terrorist groups."

    Prior to that, Trump also thanked Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his help in the release of the American pastor. Apart from that, US President Donald Trump invited Pastor Andrew Brunson to the White House on Saturday after he was freed by a Turkish court.

    "Pastor Andrew Brunson, released by Turkey, will be with me in the Oval Office at 2:30 P.M. (this afternoon). It will be wonderful to see and meet him," Trump tweeted, adding he wanted to thank Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his help.

    On Saturday, US President Donald Trump denied making any deals with Turkey to secure the release of US Pastor Andrew Brunson.

    READ MORE: Trump: No Deal Made With Turkey on Lifting US Sanctions for Brunson's Release

    Brunson was detained three years ago over his alleged ties to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Turkey of plotting the 2016 failed military coup.

    Following the pastor's detention, the United States imposed sanctions against Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and doubled previously levied import tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

    The pastor was released from prison in July, only to be placed under house arrest. He was allowed to walk free on Friday after a court in Izmir ruled he did not have to serve any more jail time. He soon boarded a plane for the United States.

    Related:

    Turkey’s Court Rule on Pastor Brunson Proves Judiciary Independence - Official
    Turkish Court Frees US Pastor Brunson After Two-Year Detention
    US Pastor Brunson Departs for US From Turkey's Izmir Airport - Reports
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    court, Andrew Brunson, Donald Trump, Turkey, United States
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