US President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Thursday there was “great news out of Turkey” after a US delegation held talks in Ankara over Turkey’s military incursion into northeast Syria.
“Thank you to (Turkish President Tayyip) Erdogan,” Trump said. “Millions of lives will be saved!”
Trump praised the US Syria ceasefire deal with Turkey, said “there needed to be some ‘tough’ love in order to get it done.”
This deal could NEVER have been made 3 days ago. There needed to be some “tough” love in order to get it done. Great for everybody. Proud of all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019
US Vice President Mike Pence met Erdogan earlier on Thursday as part of a US mission to persuade Turkey to halt an offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria.
Separately a Turkish official told Reuters that Turkey “got exactly what we wanted out of the meeting.”
A 'great day’ for Turkey, Kurds
President Trump speaking to reporters later, hailed the announcement of a “ceasefire” in northern Syria as a “great day” for Turkey and the Kurds.
“We have a five-day ceasefire,” Trump told reporters, after US Vice President Mike Pence said that Ankara had agreed to suspend its military operation, and end it entirely once Kurdish fighters withdraw from a safe zone.
“It’s a great day for the United States,” the president said in Fort Worth, Texas, where he is to hold a reelection rally.
“It’s a great day for Turkey,” Trump said. “It’s a great day for the Kurds. It’s a great day for civilization.”
“This is a situation where everybody’s happy,” Trump declared.
Trump has come under bipartisan fire in Washington for pulling US troops out of Syria, paving the way for the Turkish operation against the Kurds.
Trump said sanctions on Turkey “won’t be necessary” now and heaped praise on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“He’s a hell of a leader,” Trump said. “He did the right thing.
“I have great respect for the president.”
Asked whether he believed the ceasefire would last, Trump said “I think it’s going to last.”
“I think President Erdogan’s very smart,” he said. “He wants it to last.”