Turkish minister: US sanctions will make terrorism, refugee crisis worse

Turkish minister: US sanctions will make terrorism, refugee crisis worse
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Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said Monday that U.S. sanctions on Turkey could make terrorism and the refugee crisis worse.

“These steps taken with political motivation will not only impact the global financial system but also global trade and regional stability,” Albayrak said of U.S. sanctions at a news conference in Paris, Reuters reports.

“With the damage [the sanctions] will cause to regional stability, they will unfortunately contribute to chaotic problems that feed terrorism and also the refugee crisis.”

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Albayrak, who had just completed a meeting with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire, emphasized that Turkey was invested in improving relations with the European Union, and France in particular, as its U.S. ties come under strain.

Albayrak said the Trump administration's recent behavior has made Turkey’s relationship with the EU all the more important.

The U.S. leveled sanctions against Turkey after the country refused to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been imprisoned there since 2016 and allegedly abused.

Since the sanctions were enacted earlier this month, the Turkish lira has hit record lows.

President Trump said last Monday that he would not make any concessions with Turkey.

The White House has rejected Turkey’s offer to release Brunson if the U.S. halts an investigation into Turkish bank Halkbank.