Washington: US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he hoped the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey would lead to improved ties with Ankara, after months of diplomatic rancor that eventually triggered a crash in the lira.

He also denied an NBC report that the two countries had reached a secret deal for Brunson to be released in exchange for the US easing “economic pressure" on Ankara.

“I don’t make deals for hostages," Trump said on Twitter.

“There was, however, great appreciation on behalf of the United States, which will lead to good, perhaps great, relations between the United States & Turkey!"

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