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Hulusi Akar is seen during the EFES-2018 Military Exercise near the Aegean port city of Izmir, Turkey May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal


ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and U.S. counterpart Jim Mattis speak over phone and discuss bilateral defence 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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