Turkey and France agree to work together against U.S. economic moves


Calling once again for Turkey to release Pastor Andrew Brunson Friday, President Donald Trump had harsh words for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally before leaving the White House Friday for Southhampton, New York.

ANKARA, TURKEY-A detained American pastor has become a symbol of a growing rift between Turkey and the United States, but problems in the Cold War-era alliance as well as Turkey's own financial crisis are unlikely to dissipate even if he is released and Washington eases economic penalties.

The Turkish Lira has lost almost 40 percent of its value against the United States dollar since the start of the year.

"We have more that we're planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said during a White House cabinet meeting on Thursday, according to pool reporters.

The president sounded off on the detainment of pastor Andrew Brunson saying he is now asking him to represent our country as a great patriot hostage, in a fiery tweet Thursday.

Ebbing concerns over the fallout from the Turkish lira's recent slide also helped strengthen the euro against the dollar.

Turkey responded by increasing tariffs on imports from the USA including cars, alcoholic drinks and leaf tobacco - and the lira recovered slightly.

China on Thursday said a delegation led by its vice commerce minister would travel to the United States for talks.

In a conference call with thousands of investors and economists, Albayrak - who is Erdogan's son-in-law, said Turkey fully understood and recognised all of its domestic challenges, but was dealing with what he described as a market anomaly.

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USA equities rose on hopes that Beijing and Washington may resolve a conflict that has roiled financial markets since early March.

Kristina Arriaga, vice chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, recently returned from Turkey.

Erdogan's spokesman praised Qatari-Turkish relations on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Turkish courts have moved to defuse other legal cases that have irritated relations with the EU.

Mr Erdogan earlier wrote in the New York Times that unless the U.S. changed course, Turkey would look for new friends and allies.

One currency trader said on Friday's lira weakness was driven by "the new USA sanctions threat and the S&P decision, with position-closing in markets ahead of the public holiday".

Turkey has the highest foreign exchange-denominated debt among emerging markets, Societe Generale said in its note on Friday, estimating its short-term external debt at $180 billion and total external debt at $460 billion.

Ratings agency Fitch said the absence of an orthodox monetary policy response to the lira's fall, and the rhetoric of Turkish authorities have "increased the difficulty of restoring economic stability and sustainability".

Underscoring the ties between the countries, Sheikh Tamim was the first foreign leader to phone President Erdogan during the failed coup in Turkey in 2016.