Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

19.17 23 Oct 2019


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Donald Trump has announced the US is lifting recently imposed sanctions targeting Turkey.

The Trump administration had last week announced a range of sanctions in response to the Turkish military offensive against Kurdish forces in north-east Syria.

A surprise US withdrawal from Syrian border regions in recent weeks had freed Turkey to begin operations against the Kurds.

US troops had previously been operating alongside Kurdish militia in the fight against Islamic State.

In recent days, the US and Turkey had agreed that a temporary ceasefire would be implemented in the region amid growing international outcry over Ankara's offensive.

In a statement today, President Trump claimed the ceasefire has now become "permanent".

He suggested the ceasefire had held "beyond expectations", and the Turkish government had confirmed they would be halting their combat operations.

Speaking in the White House, he said: "You would also define the word permanent in that part of the world as somewhat questionable, we all understand that... but I do believe it will be permanent.

"The sanctions will be lifted unless something happens that we're not happy with."

The US President took credit for the Turkish response, claiming the US was the only nation involved.

Yesterday, the Russian and Turkish leaders met in Sochi and agreed a deal over the Kurds in Syria.

Forces from the two countries will oversee a withdrawal of Kurdish troops over the coming days, followed by joint patrols in the territory seized by Turkey during the recent offensive.

Main image: United States President Donald J. Trump announces that that the US will lift sanctions on Turkey. Picture by: Ron Sachs/DPA/PA Images

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