Erdoğan 'to meet US vice president, secretary of state'

Erdoğan 'to meet US vice president, secretary of state'

ISTANBUL-Anadolu Agency
Erdoğan to meet US vice president, secretary of state

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 16 that he would meet with U.S. Vice President and Secretary of State, according to a Tweet by communications director.     

"Earlier today, the President told @SkyNews that he won't receive a U.S. delegation that is visiting Ankara today," Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.

"He does plan to meet the U.S. delegation led by Vice President tomorrow [Oct. 17] — as confirmed in the below statement to the Turkish press," Altun said, sharing a video of Erdoğan's remarks.    

"It is out of question that I meet with others [in the U.S. delegation] except [Mike] Pence and [Mike] Pompeo," Erdoğan told reporters, following his address to parliament in the capital Ankara.     

Pence will be in Turkey to hold talks with top officials regarding Ankara's ongoing Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria, President Donald Trump said at the White House on Oct. 15.

The vice president's office released a statement saying that Pence will be further accompanied by National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, and Trump's special envoy for the anti-ISIL coalition James Jeffrey.     

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.     

The U.S.-backed SDF, a group dominated by the YPG, has been controlling some 28 percent of the Syrian territories, including the most of the 911-kilometer-long Syria-Turkey border.

Turkey deems the YPG the Syrian offshoot of the illegal PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization also by the United States and the EU.

Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence,