Trump vows 'no concessions' with Turkey over detained U.S. pastor

Ebru Özkan a Turkish woman arrested in Israel on suspicion of aiding Hamas

President Donald Trump's administration has rejected Turkey's offer to condition the release of an American pastor on clearing a top Turkish bank of billions of dollars in United States fines, media reported Monday.

Ties between Turkey and the US have deteriorated over a number of issues, such as conflicting aims in the Syrian conflict, Ankara's planned buy of a Russian anti-aircraft system, and the detention of US Evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who Turkey accuses of supporting terrorist groups.

"I think it's very sad what Turkey is doing", he said.

Criticising the state of US relations with Ankara, Trump this month authorised a doubling of duties on aluminum and steel imported from Turkey, making them 20 percent and 50 percent respectively. "There will be no concessions", Trump said.

Trump's imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum that hit the European Union in late May led to steep retaliatory tariffs by Ankara.

Brunson, who is originally from North Carolina and has lived in Turkey for two decades, has been detained for 21 months on terrorism charges, which he denies.

US President Donald Trump has insisted he will not back down in a standoff with Turkey over a detained US pastor.

"I'm not concerned at all", he said in an Oval Office interview on Monday with Reuters news agency. "I'm not concerned. This is the proper thing to do", he said, when asked whether the tariffs could hurt other economies.

A day after Trump's tweet on August 10, the Turkish leader wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times, warning the United States was jeopardising ties with Ankara, and that Turkey could look for "new friends and allies", raising fears that it could turn towards Moscow.

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"I like Turkey. I like the people of Turkey very much", Trump said.

"I believe that as long as you stand tall our flag will not fall, our call to prayer will not fall silent and this homeland of ours will not be divided", the Hurriyet newspaper reported him as saying.

Turkey announced equivalent sanctions on US-produced goods, amounting to $1bn in total. But it can't be a one-way street.

"Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years".

Trump drew a barrage of criticism at home and overseas after he stood side by side with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a July 16 summit in Helsinki and cast doubt on his own intelligence agencies' findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 USA elections. "But I wouldn't consider it without that", he said.

The Iranians, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, have dismissed the offer. Asked to respond to Iran's refusal to meet, Trump said it not matter to him whether they met or not.

"If they want to meet that's fine, and if they don't want to meet, I couldn't care less", he said.

He also said he had "no time frame" for resolving his administration's trade dispute with China.

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