Turkish delegation to meet with U.S. State Department officials

A Turkish delegation will meet with top officials from the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, part of a visit to Washington this week to address growing friction between the NATO allies fueled by Ankara’s detention of an American evangelical pastor.

“We can confirm that a Turkish delegation will meet with State Department officials today,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Wednesday. “The meeting will be led by our deputy secretary, John Sullivan.”

Sullivan, the number two official at State, will host a bilateral meeting with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal in the late morning, according to a schedule the department published on Wednesday.

The two countries remain at odds on the core U.S. demand that Ankara free pastor Andrew Brunson.

At a briefing on Tuesday, Nauert confirmed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to his Turkish counterpart on Monday but said the two sides had not reached agreement on the release of Brunson. The pastor had been imprisoned by Turkey since October 2016 but was released to house arrest in late July.

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