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US, Turkey begin mutual lifting of sanctions

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meets with US President Donald Trump (R) during the G20 Leaders' Summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 07, 2017 [Turkish Presidency / Handout - Anadolu Agency]
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meets with US President Donald Trump (R) during the G20 Leaders' Summit in Hamburg, Germany on 7 July, 2017 [Turkish Presidency / Handout - Anadolu Agency]

The USA and Turkey have agreed to lift mutual sanctions after months of strained relations.

The agreement came following a phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US President Donald Trump on Thursday. On Friday, both countries began lifting their mutually-imposed sanctions which have been in place since August.

Turkish media reported that Ankara and Washington had announced the move simultaneously, noting that the breakthrough it came two weeks after the release of US Pastor Andrew Brunson.

Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terror-related charges, is under house arrest in Aegean province of Izmir, Turkey

Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terror-related charges, is under house arrest in Aegean province of Izmir, Turkey

The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson explained that the US Treasury had lifted sanctions on Turkish ministers, while Turkey had lifted the travel ban, freezing of assets and ban on financial and trade transactions of US ministers in Turkey.

READ: Erdogan and Trump discuss Khashoggi via phone call

Brunson was freed after spending almost 18 months in Turkish prison over accusations of helping supporters of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric who Turkish authorities believe masterminded the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan, in which 250 people were killed.

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