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Trump lifts sanctions on Turkey after it declares permanent ceasefire in Syria

By PTI Updated: Oct 24, 2019 9:27 pm
Donald Trump

Washington, Oct. 24 (PTI): US President Donald Trump has lifted all sanctions on Turkey after Ankara agreed to a permanent ceasefire in Syria as the American troops left the “blood stained sand”, allowing the Russian and Turkish forces to take over the territory controlled by America and the Kurdish military.

Trump had last week signed an executive order to slap sanctions against Turkish officials, raising of steel tariffs and ending negotiations on a USD 100 billion trade deal in protest against Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria.

The move by the US to remove sanctions comes after Turkey informed the Trump administration on Wednesday that the five-day pause that had been called on Thursday ended.

I have instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to lift all sanctions imposed on October 14th in response to Turkey’s original offensive moves against the Kurds in Syria’s northeast border region, Trump told reporters on Wednesday at the White House.

The sanctions will be lifted unless something happens that the US is not happy with, he said.

“Now we’re getting out. A long time. We were supposed to be there for 30 days; that was almost 10 years ago. It was supposed to be a very quick hit and let’s get out. And it was a quick hit, except they stayed for almost 10 years. Let someone else fight over this long-bloodstained sand, Trump said.

This was an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else, no other nation. Very simple. And we’re willing to take blame, and we’re also willing to take credit. This is something they’ve been trying to do for many, many decades, he said.

In an apparent reference to Russia and Turkey, the US President said, since then, others have come out to help, and we welcome them to do so.”

“Other countries have stepped forward, they want to help, and we think that’s great. The nations in the region must ultimately take on the responsibility of helping Turkey and Syria police their border. We want other nations to get involved, Trump said.

According to a report in the Washington Post, Russian military police began patrolling parts of northeast Syria on Wednesday under an agreement signed between Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s Defense Ministry and local media reports said that a column of Russian military vehicles arrived in the city of Kobane, which until recently hosted a US military base. The ministry said that Syrian government forces would also establish observation posts along the frontier, the report said.

Trump said that the American forces have been in Syria far more than they were supposed to.

A senior official in the US administration told reporters that the agreement between US and Turkey about the ceasefire had the desired effect that they had hoped.

So, the agreement had the effect that we had hoped, that the President hoped it would have, as well as, I believe, the parties,” the official said.

As per the deal, Turkey agreed to suspend its operations for 120 hours to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a designated safe zone along the Turkish and Syrian border.

In his remarks, Trump also said that the US has secured oil in the region.

We’ve secured the oil, and, therefore, a small number of US troops will remain in the area where they have the oil. And we’re going to be protecting it, and we’ll be deciding what we’re going to do with it in the future, he asserted.

Trump said that with the moves US is making, they are achieving a much more peaceful and stable area between Turkey and Syria, including a 20-mile-wide safe zone.

By PTI Updated: Oct 24, 2019 9:27:58 pm