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The case of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, whose next court hearing is on October 12, has plunged ties between Ankara and Washington into crisis, leading to USA sanctions and tariffs which helped push Turkey's lira to record lows in August.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed a more conciliatory tone on a hugely sensitive visit to Germany but both sides still have daunting task ahead to rebuild relations and trust battered by a succession of disputes.

The 50-year-old evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, N.C., who has lived in Turkey for two decades, was arrested almost two years ago for allegedly "committing crimes on behalf of terror groups", a reference to outlawed Kurdish militants and the network of US -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for a failed coup attempt. He has denied the charges and Washington has demanded his immediate release.

Erdogan is in Germany for a visit aimed at reducing tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

"God willing, we hope to solve the problems with America within the shortest time and redevelop relations in the political and economic fields with the spirit of strategic partnership", Erdogan said in an address to the opening of parliament.

Brunson's case has become the most divisive issue between the two countries.

Brunson, an evangelical who runs a small evangelical Protestant church in Izmir, is the centre of a bitter standoff between the Turkey and the United States.

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Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them". Ford, a California college professor, was not questioned as part of a criminal proceeding but in the confirmation process. "Dr.

Tensions eased somewhat after several high-profile German-Turkish nationals were released this year, but five remain behind bars.

And during his press conference with Mrs Merkel on Thursday, Mr Erdogan announced that the two countries had reached "a consensus to boost the mechanisms of co-operation".

"We will continue to protect our citizens, wherever they may be", - said Erdogan.

"Our economy started rebalancing with measures we have taken, meetings we have realised and programmes we have developed", he told parliament.

The lira improved to 5.95 against the dollar after his speech - its strongest valuation in more than six weeks.

Dispensing with the usual diplomatic pleasantries, Mr Steinmeier expressed concern over Germans, union activists, lawyers, journalists and politicians jailed in Turkey, telling Mr Erdogan: "We can not simply gloss over this issue".

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