US Vice President Mike Pence is threatening NATO ally Turkey with “severe economic sanctions” over a detained American pastor held on terrorism and espionage charges.
Pence said Thursday that if Turkey does not take immediate action to free Andrew Craig Brunson, “the United States of America will impose severe economic sanctions on Turkey.”
He spoke in Washington at the close of a three-day conference on religious freedom.
Brunson, 50, a Christian pastor originally from North Carolina, has lived in Turkey for more than two decades.
He was released from jail Wednesday, after 18 months, to serve house arrest because of “health problems,” according to Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded Brunson’s release and said on Twitter last week that the pastor’s detention was “a total disgrace.”
Brunson was arrested in December 2016 and later indicted on charges of having links…