WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said the release and return of Andrew Brunson will be a "tremendous" step toward better relations between the United States and Turkey, where the Christian pastor was detained for two years.

 

Relations between the two NATO allies have been strained by U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, Turkey's plans to buy a Russian missile defense system, and the U.S. jailing of an executive at a Turkish state bank in an Iran sanctions-busting case. Brunson, who met with Trump in the Oval Office soon after he arrived in Washington with his wife on Saturday, knelt next to the president in the Oval Office and said a prayer for him.

 

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Leslie Adler)