US, Turkey agree to ceasefire in Syria, says Mike Pence (Photo Credit: PTI )
US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday announced that Turkey has agreed to a five-day ceasefire in northeast Syria to allow for the withdrawal of Kurdish forces. The announcement comes after 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 after more than four hours of talks at the presidential palace in Ankara, Mike Pence said, "A week after Turkish forces crossed into Syria, Turkey and the United States of America have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria."
Pence further said that the military operations will stop for 120 hours. He said, "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."
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. “The President made it clear that we're not going to have military personnel on the ground, but the United States will continue to engage diplomatically, politically and, of course, in humanitarian aid and support to effect all of the people affected in this region,” he said.
Meanwhile, a senior Turkish official told CNN that Turkey got exactly what they wanted out of the meeting with Vice President Mike Pence.