Pence, Pompeo to visit Turkey amid Turkish offensive in Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-16 10:46:50|Editor: mingmei
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Turkey on Wednesday amid ongoing Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria.

Pence is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, when Pence will "reiterate President Trump's commitment to maintain punishing economic sanctions on Turkey until a resolution is reached," according to a statement released by Pence's office on Tuesday.

During his stay in Turkey, Pence will also voice the conditions for a negotiated settlement, the statement added.

However, Erdogan has already rejected Trump's cease-fire offer but agreed to keep in dialogue with Washington.

"I told President Trump that we would not declare a cease-fire first before discussing other issues ... we will make a deal first, then we will talk about the truce," Erdogan was quoted as saying by Turkish broadcaster NTV on Tuesday, referring to a phone call he had with Trump on Monday.

Pence and Pompeo's tour comes after the United States on Monday rolled out a package of sanctions on Turkey over its military operations in Syria, including blacklisting senior Turkish officials, halting bilateral trade negotiations and raising tariffs on steel imports from the country.