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Trump, Erdogan Urged To End Dispute By Business Groups As Investments Get Hit

Trump, Erdogan Urged To End Dispute By Business Groups As Investments Get Hit
Some firms are being forced to suspend investment plans because of the political dispute between the NATO allies political dispute between the NATO allies U.S. and Turkey, warned business groups of both countries and added that investor confidence was also being affected.
There was an urgent call given to President Donald Trump and President Tayyip Erdogan to sit together and bring an end to the dispute surrounding the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson. The call was given in a media interview by the heads of the American Turkish Council and Turkey-U.S. Business Council, which jointly represent 250 companies.
“Only the two presidents can put this relationship back on track,” said Mehmet Ali Yalçindağ, chairman of the Turkey-U.S. Business Council. “We need to end this before it strains and permanently damages the relationship.”
The US has been demanding the release of Brunson while Turkey has bene stuck with its demand that the US Treasury drops an investigation into majority state-owned Halkbank that is facing a potential very high fine by the US for violation of Iran sanctions.
The allegations of aiding terrorist and antinational elements of Turkey have been denied by Brunson ever since he had been detailed two years agoi. The Turkish government alleged that the pastor helped the groups that attempted to stage a military coup two years ago.
The political uncertainty has resulted in the suspension of a merger and acquisition deal by a Turkish firm in the United States worth $300 million, said Howard Beasey, president and CEO of the American Turkish Council.
In another such incident, another Turkish company that was planning setting up of a steel manufacturing unit in the US following the imposition of additional steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkish imports by Washington is reportedly being reconsidered.
“That is all at risk right now, not because they don’t still see opportunity, but because they just don’t know where the political relationship is going to go,” Beasey said, referring to increased trade and investment between the two countries.
“The United States is using its economic strength in a dangerous way for political gain and we don’t agree with the use of sanctions for that reason. We can see direct impacts already,” he added.
United States could not be blamed for the recent slide in the Turkish currency lira because it was already under pressure even before the diplomatic spat between the two countries started, said Beasey. But there was added pressure on the lira because of the of the US sanctions on two Turkish ministers, and the threat of more, he however added.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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