US pastor goes on trial in Turkey after arrest in coup crackdown

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His comments were in response to a reporter's question about an earlier remark from French President Emmanuel Macron, who said Turkey's support of US -led missile strikes against Syria showed it had "separated" from Russian Federation.

Acting U.S. Secretary of State John Sullivan briefed Turkey's Foreign Undersecretary Umit Yalcin over the phone on Friday on the latest developments in Syria.

In September, Mr Erdogan raised the prospect of a swap, exchanging Mr Brunson for Mr Gulen, but the idea was dismissed by the USA authorities, who have pressed Turkey to release the pastor.

A copy of Brunson's indictment seen by Reuters accuses him of working both with Gulen's network and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey and is designated a terrorist group by the United States and European Union.

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Cavusoglu said that Macron had expressed interest in attending the Ankara summit and Erdogan then sounded out Moscow and Tehran over the idea.

Washington has called for Brunson's release while Erdogan suggested a year ago his fate could be linked to that of US -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose extradition Ankara has repeatedly sought to face charges over the coup attempt.

Turkey supported the airstrikes by U.S., British and French forces, saying the move sent a message to Assad.

"Turkey's Syria policy is not a policy of being on the same side or being opposed to another country", Bozdag told reporters in Qatar in response to a journalist's question about Macron's remarks.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag speaks to the media in Ankara, February 20, 2018.

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