Pence: US, Turkey Agree To Ceasefire In Syria

WCBS 880 Newsroom
October 17, 2019 - 2:02 pm
Vice President Mike Pence, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Photo by Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Turkish Presidency via Getty Images

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ANKARA, Turkey (WCBS 880) -- Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that the U.S. and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria.

The agreement came after five hours of intense talks in Ankara, Turkey involving Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Pence said the U.S. and Turkey have "mutually committed to a peaceful resolution and future for the safe zone."

Under the deal, Turkey will give Kurdish fighters 120 hours to withdraw from the 20-mile safe zone area in northern Syria.

The Associated Press reports the agreement essentially gives the Turks what they had sought to achieve with their military operation in the first place, removal of the Kurdish forces from the border "safe zone."

Pence said the U.S. will not impose more sanctions on Turkey and will withdraw the economic sanctions that were imposed Monday once a ceasefire is permanent.

"But make no mistake about it, President Trump was very clear with our ally, Turkey, about American opposition to Turkish military forces entering Syria, the president made that clear in his discussions and his correspondence with President Erdogan and I believe that the candor and frankness that President Trump applied to this and the strength of his relationship with President Erdogan both contributed to the ability for this agreement to come about," Pence said.

The agreement will also protect religious and ethnic groups who have been threatened by the recent military action.