August 7, 2018 / 6:49 PM / in 8 months

Turkish, U.S. defense ministers discuss defense deals, Syria, counterterrorism: broadcasters

FILE PHOTO - U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis attends the swearing in ceremony for new Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and U.S. counterpart Jim Mattis speak over phone and discuss bilateral defense deals, Syria and counterterrorism, Turkish broadcasters and the state news agency said, without citing their source.

Turkish ties with the United States are in a tense period, following the U.S. imposing sanctions on Turkey’s interior and justice ministers for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey. Brunson denies any wrongdoing.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Alison Williams

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