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Turkey has agreed to a ceasefire in northern Syria between its forces and their allied rebels and U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds, Vice President Mike Pence announced.
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Pence met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday to push for the ceasefire.
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"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 at a news conference.
"Our team is already working with YPG personnel in the safe zone for an orderly withdrawal outside the 20-mile mark and we're going to go forward together to bring peace and security to this region, I'm very confident of that," he added.
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Erdogan had repeatedly rejected the idea, saying his government would not negotiate with what it considers a terrorist organization.
The high-level diplomacy comes one day after President Donald Trump dismissed concerns about the violent clashes: "That's between Turkey and Syria, it's not between Turkey and the United States, like a lot of stupid people would like us to, would like you to believe," he said in the Oval Office Wednesday.
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Trump has come under withering criticism by Republicans and Democrats for withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria, after initially pulling back two attachments of troops in advance of Turkey's operation against the Syrian Kurds.
That was seen as giving a green light to Erdogan to attack the Kurds that...
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