US removes 2 Turkish officials from sanctions list, Ankara reciprocates

The US on Friday removed two top Turkish officials from the Global Magnitsky Act sanctions list, according to the Treasury Department. Turkey immediately answered by lifting sanctions on the US Secretary of Homeland Security and Attorney General, its Foreign Ministry said. Ankara said that the sanctions on Kirstjen Nielsen and Jeff Sessions, which include a travel ban into the country and freezing of assets in Turkey, had been lifted in response to the US move, Reuters reports. Washington had imposed sanctions on the officials, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, in August over Turkey’s imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson. Brunson was released in October and has since returned to the US.