A day before the fourth hearing for U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson, NBC News is reporting that the United States and Turkey have reached a “secret deal” to release him in the coming days. The U.S. State Department denies knowing anything about the deal.
“I am not aware of any such deal as reported by NBC News,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters, adding that U.S .officials from the U.S. Embassy in Turkey have been assisting Pastor Brunson in his case,
The secret deal is reportedly tied to a commitment to ease economic sanctions on Turkey and will lead to some charges being dropped against Brunson at his next court hearing tomorrow, sources told NBC News.
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the situation, saying that “he was hopeful that before too long Pastor Brunson will, he and his wife will, be able to return to the United States.” He added that it would be a “very humanitarian thing to do.”
The Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C., has not responded to a request for comment.
There are still doubts that prosecutors will deliver on this deal, however. Several months ago, Turkey reportedly came close to releasing Andrew, but did not. Instead, he was placed under house arrest.
Continue to pray with us for Pastor Brunson and his family… we will bring updates as more developments happen.