Pence and Pompeo Secure Cease-Fire Agreement Between Kurds and Turkey
On Thursday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced they have reached a cease-fire agreement between Turkey and Kurds, following a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"It will be a pause in military operation for 120 hours, while the United States facilitates the withdrawal of YPG (the People's Protection Units) 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 make sure peace and stability are the order of the day in this safe zone," Pence said during a press conference.
The significance of this agreement should not be understated. Prior to this announcement, Politico was dismissing the possibility of diplomatic progress as "impossible."
From the outset, the mission had long odds.
President Donald Trump dispatched Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here to the Turkish capital to try to persuade Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reverse his assault on northeastern Syria — an assault Trump himself conceded was a long time coming.
But when they landed Thursday afternoon to the news that the Turkish premier tossed a letter from Trump in the trash, the task seemed to border on impossible.
President Trump was quick to announce the agreement on Twitter: