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Freed American pastor returns to US, meets Trump

ANI  |  Washington DC [USA] 

American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was released by the Turkish authorities after two years in connection to a coup d'etat case, has arrived here and met with at the

Upon his arrival on Saturday, thanked Trump and other lawmakers for securing his release. He also introduced his family to the US

Lauding the Christian evangelist for displaying resilience in the last two years, quoted Trump as saying, "I just want to congratulate you because you have galvanised this country. There's so much interest, and it's your faith, it's your strength, what you've done, gone through."

He also thanked his Turkish counterpart for facilitating Brunson's return, saying "it was not easy".

In response, said, "We especially want to thank the administration, they really fought for us, unusually so. From the time you took office, I know that you've been engaged."

"We're so grateful to so many people in who stood with us and who prayed for us and fought for us, so we want to thank you," he added.

On Friday, a ordered his release and dropped charges against him. The pastor, who ran Ressurection Church in Turkey, was arrested two years ago for allegedly helping terrorist groups in carrying out the 2016 coup d'etat in a bid to overthrow Erdogan.

Before meeting with Brunson, Trump had refuted reports that the pastor was released based on a deal between the US and

"There was NO DEAL made with for the release and return of Pastor I don't make deals for hostages. There was, however, great appreciation on behalf of the United States, which will lead to good, perhaps great, relations between the & Turkey!" the US wrote on

After being released, Brunson boarded an American military plane for home, where he stopped in en-route for a medical check-up.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 14 2018. 04:46 IST