- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

President Trump urged the president of Turkey Tuesday to release an American pastor who’s been held behind bars since last October.

The White House said Mr. Trump “raised the incarceration of Pastor Andrew Brunson and asked that the Turkish government expeditiously return him to the United States.”

Neither Mr. Trump nor Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke publicly about that case during Tuesday afternoon at their first meeting at the White House.

The American Center for Law and Justice, which is advocating for Mr. Brunson’s family, said it had submitted a formal written statement to the U.N. Human Rights Council in his case.

The pastor and his family say he’s being held on false charges. He and his wife were detained by authorities in the Turkish town of Izmir, where he has carried out his ministry for two decades.

They were arrested during a government crackdown after the failed military coup in 2016.

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