Trump dispatched his deputy and his top diplomat to persuade Erdogan to reverse his assault on northeastern Syria.
ANKARA, Turkey — President Donald Trump placed a dangerous bet this week: He sent his vice president and secretary of state — the two most public-facing figures in American government — here to the Turkish capital to try to cinch a ceasefire in a war that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started, and said he has shown no interest in ending.
Many administration officials were concerned Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would leave this city empty-handed.
But, this time, at least in the immediate, Trump got what he wanted: a five-day pause in violence in Syria. And, most notably, the United States agreed to back off on new and withdraw previously instituted sanctions on Turkey.
“The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone for 120 hours,” Pence said at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Ankara, referring to the name the Turkish government has used to describe its incursion. “All military operations under Operation Peace Spring will be paused and Operation Peace Spring will be halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal. Our administration has already been in contact with Syrian defense forces and we’ve already begun to facilitate their safe withdrawal from the nearly 20-mile-wide safe zone area south of the Turkish border in Syria.”
The agreement came after more than four hours of talks between Erdogan, Pence, Pompeo and other high-ranking U.S. officials. Ninety minutes of the negotiations were between Pence and Erdogan alone.
Speaking in Texas ahead of a political rally, President Trump hailed the deal as “an amazing outcome” that saved “millions and millions of lives.”
“This is a situation where everybody is happy,” he said. “The Kurds are very happy. Turkey is very happy. The United States is very happy. And, you know what? Civilization is very happy. It’s a great thing for civilization.”
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.