The Trump administration will lift recently imposed sanctions on Turkey after Tuesday's deadline for Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a Syrian safe zone if Ankara respects the ceasefire, a US official said. "We have a commitment once the 120 hours is over to roll back sanctions," the senior official said on condition of anonymity. "That is a commitment we will live up to," he said, without giving an exact timing to lift the sanctions.
However, he warned that Turkey also needs to observe its promise to end the operation. "Any Turkish kinetic military operation that moves forward at the end of this 120-hour period... will lead to us concluding that the Turks have violated our agreement, with the inevitable sanctions," the official said.
On October 17, the United States and Turkey agreed to a five-day ceasefire in northeast Syria to allow for the withdrawal of Kurdish forces. The announcement came after US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to address the situation in Syria.
In a news conference, Mike Pence had said, "A week after Turkish forces crossed into Syria, Turkey and the United States of America have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria."
Pence had further said that the military operations will stop for 120 hours. "It will be a pause in military operations for 120 hours while the United States facilitates the withdrawal of YPG from the affected areas in the safe zone, and once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent ceasefire, and the United States of America will work with Turkey, will work with nations around the world to ensure that peace and stability is the order of the day in this safe zone on the border between Syria and Turkey," he said.
The vice president of the US also said, "Part of our understanding is that with the implementation of the ceasefire, the United States will not impose any further sanctions on Turkey." "And once a permanent ceasefire is in effect, President Donald Trump has agreed to withdraw the economic sanctions that were imposed this last Monday," he added.
“President Trump is very grateful to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for facilitating the ceasefire,” Pence noted.
It is to be noted that on October 14, US President Trump slapped sanctions on three Turkish ministers and raised steel tariffs before sending Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Ankara to negotiate a deal.
(With PTI Inputs)