Washington confirms its insistence on the release of the priest held in Turkey

BAGHDAD, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that US sanctions against the two Turkish Ministers were proof of Washington's firm insistence on the release of Rev. Andrew Branson.

"We have warned the Turks that it is time to release Bishop Branson, and I hope they realize that the sanctions announced this week are proof of our great determination," Pompeo told a news briefing.

Pompeo's remarks came ahead of a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mohammad Chaoshoglu on the sidelines of a security summit in Singapore on Friday after Washington imposed sanctions on two Ministers from the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has vowed to respond.

"We say from the beginning that the tone of the threat and the sanctions will not come as a result," Oglu told reporters at the summit.

"Turkey always wants to solve the problems through diplomatic means, dialogue, mutual understanding and agreements," he said.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency