The U.S Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) formally published a request to lift economic sanctions against Turkey’s defense and energy ministries, reported Yahoo Finance on Monday.
U.S President Donald Trump announced in early October 2019 that he was implementing targeted sanctions on Turkish ministers and ministries due to Turkey’s military operations in Syria. The U.S. halted trade negotiations with Turkey and doubling tariffs on imports of Turkish steel.
“The United States is holding the Turkish Government accountable for escalating violence by Turkish forces, endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the occasion. The sanctions issued days after Turkey’s operation in Syria’s northeastern part.
“The Turkish Government’s actions are endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region, including undermining the campaign to defeat ISIS” then the U.S. Treasury statement read.
Capitol Hill lawmakers late last year proposed punishing Turkey with wider sanctions. The Turkish Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, along with National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez, on Oct. 14 were placed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List.
The removal of their names from the SDN List would enable the ministers and government officials to once again conduct business with U.S persons or companies.