President Donald Trump has said that America’s proposed economic sanctions on Ankara are no longer necessary after the US and Turkey struck a deal for a five-day cease fire in Syria.
As per the deal announced by Vice President Mike Pence in Ankara on Thursday, Turkey will suspend its operations for 120 hours to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a designated safe zone along the Turkish and Syrian border.
Protesting Turkey’s military offensive in northeast Syria, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to slap sanctions against Turkish officials, raising of steel tariffs and ending negotiations on a USD 100 billion trade deal. “Sanctions won’t be necessary because Turkey is doing what they’re doing,” Trump told reporters on Thursday as he congratulated his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for reaching a deal with the United States.
“He’s a friend of mine and I’m glad we didn’t have a problem because frankly, he’s a hell of a leader and he’s a tough man. He’s a strongman. He did the right thing. And I really appreciate it. And I will appreciate it in the future,” Trump said, describing the cease fire as a great news.
Terming it as an incredible outcome, Trump said that Turkey had a legitimate problem on the 22 mile (34 kms) strip for many years.
“They had terrorists, they had a lot of people in there that they couldn’t have. They’ve suffered a lot of loss of lives also. They had to have it cleaned out,” he said.
“But once you start that, it gets to a point where a tremendous amount of bad things can happen. So, a process started and we started to negotiate. I think that obviously, the sanctions and tariffs were going to be very biting. I’m glad we don’t have to do it. We will be taking them off very quickly,” Trump said.
“We’ve gotten everything we could have ever dreamed of and we are also going to be able to bring our people back home we will be able to have control of ISIS, we will be able to do whatever we have to do to get the rest of ISIS wherever they may be. They are never going to be ruling us,” he said.
Trump also thanked the Kurds for agreeing to abide by the ceasefire.
“This is a solution that really well, it saved their lives frankly.
It saved their lives. So, we’ve done a great thing for our partner.
If we didn’t go this unconventional tough love approach they could have never gotten it done. They have been trying to do this for many, many ears. You could have never gotten it done,” he said.
Talking to reporters in Ankara, Pence said that all military operations under Operation Peace Spring will be paused and it will be halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal.
This also includes an agreement by Turkey to engage in no military action against the community of Kobani.
In addition, the United States and Turkey have both mutually committed to a peaceful resolution and future for the safe zone, working on an international basis to ensure that peace and security defines this border region of Syria, he said.
“Further, Turkey and the United States mutually committed to the Defeat ISIS activities in northeast Syria. This will also include an agreement renewed today to coordinate efforts on detention facilities and internally displaced persons in formerly ISIS- controlled areas,” Pence said.