By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Thursday said he met Turkish envoy to Washington Serdar Kilic.
“Candid and productive meeting today with the Turkish Ambassador to the United States regarding #PastorAndrew Brunson and other issues, ” Graham wrote in a tweet.
The meeting took place just two days after the Turkish envoy held a meeting with National Security Adviser John Bolton at the White House.
The White House said the meeting focused on American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey for terrorism charges, and bilateral relations.
Later on his Twitter account, Kilic also said he had “very sincere and productive ” meeting with the senator.
“Exchanged views on key issues on our common agenda. Agreed that keeping the diplomatic channels open for a constructive dialogue is of utmost importance, ” Kilic wrote.
Last week, a Turkish delegation held talks with officials from the State and Treasury departments. Brunson was also among the topics discussed.
Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations after Washington imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers for not releasing Brunson.
President Donald Trump on Friday ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
On Wednesday, Turkey increased tariffs on several U.S.-origin products, including alcohol and tobacco products and cars in retaliation.