WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Rep. Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia; and all other Democratic Members of the Europe and Eurasia Subcommittee today called on Secretary Pompeo to focus on securing the freedom of other American citizens wrongfully imprisoned in the country. In a letter to the Secretary, the lawmakers commended the State Department and Embassy Ankara on the release of Andrew Brunson from Turkish custody and emphasized the continued need to pressure Turkey to release other Americans held on specious charges.
“We believe that it is important the State Department continue to actively press Turkey for their release and look forward to a briefing on efforts to secure their freedom,” the Members wrote in their letter.
Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.
Dear Mr. Secretary:
We commend the U.S. Government team that helped secure the release and return of Andrew Brunson. The State Department—particularly U.S. Embassy Ankara—performed with the professionalism and dedication we expect from American diplomats. We look forward to receiving a debrief from your team to our staff on Mr. Brunson’s release by November 9.
There are certainly many high profile issues on the agenda between the United States and Turkey, including the alleged murder and disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Nevertheless, other American citizens, including NASA scientist Dr. Serkan Golge, and U.S. Mission locally-employed staff remain imprisoned by Turkey on spurious charges.
We believe that it is important the State Department continue to actively press Turkey for their release and look forward to a briefing on efforts to secure their freedom.
Again, thank you for your consideration and we look forward to your reply.
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