ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan Monday expressed solidarity with Turkey amid tension with the United States and sanctions by Washington.

Turkey's economy has been under the threat of sanctions from the United States after President Donald Trump tweeted earlier this year that this would be a probable course of action if an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, was not freed from jail. Turkey has held the evangelist since 2016 and has alleged that he was involved in a failed coup attempt that year.

Trump appeared to follow through on his threat Friday when he announced a doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminium originating from Turkey.

The White House later tried to clarify Trump's tweet, saying in a statement that he “authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs” on metals imports from Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan yesterday attacked the United States, alleging that the use of sanctions by Washington was a ‘stab in the back against Turkey.’

A foreign ministry statement issued here said: “Pakistan, in principle, is opposed to imposition of unilateral sanctions against any country. The solution to any and all issues should lies in dialogue, mutual understanding and goodwill. Any steps or actions to the contrary only undermine the peace and stability and make the solution to a problem more difficult and intractable.”

Pakistan, it said, “acknowledges and greatly appreciates Turkey’s invaluable role towards regional and international peace and stability. It is also a vital member and engine of the global economy.”

It added: “The people and the government of Pakistan reiterate their strong support for the Government and the people of Turkey in their quest for peace and prosperity, and as always, will continue to stand by them towards the achievement of these shared goals.”