The Leftist political and media elites were aghast at Trump’s letter to Erdogan, and heaped ridicule upon it. But it was really just standard American diplomacy: carrots and sticks. It was just phrased a bit more bluntly than diplomatic niceties usually allow. It is long past time for a fresh approach to diplomacy and a firm rejection of the multiply failed approaches that both Republican and Democrat Presidents have used for decades.
“U.S., Turkey agree to cease-fire to allow Kurdish forces to retreat,” by Saphora Smith and Dartunorro Clark, NBC News, October 17, 2019:
LONDON — Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that the United States reached a cease-fire agreement with Turkey to suspend its military operation in Syria to allow Kurdish forces to retreat from a designated safe zone.
Pence said that Turkey will suspend its military operations for five days to allow the Kurdish forces to leave the zone, and that U.S. forces will aid in the retreat.
The agreement comes amid growing global concern over Turkey’s military incursion in Syria after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. forces to withdraw from the country, leaving the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG — a U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State militant group — without support.
“I’m grateful for the president’s leadership. I’m grateful for the more than five hours of negotiations with President [Recep] Erdogan,” Pence said, adding that the parties “arrived at a solution that we believe will save lives.”
Trump told reporters ahead of an event in Texas that his unorthodox approach to the conflict helped make the deal possible, calling Erdogan “very smart” and a “friend.”
“Everybody agreed to things that three days ago, they would have never agreed to — that includes the Kurds,” Trump said. “This is a situation where everyone is happy.”
“If we didn’t go this unconventional, tough-love approach … they couldn’t have gotten it done,” Trump added.
Trump praised and defended Turkey in his remarks to reporters, saying the country was taking actions to secure part of its border with Syria where Kurds have been gaining influence and it had to have that area “cleaned out.”
“For many, many years Turkey, in all fairness, they’ve had a legitimate problem with it,” Trump said. “They’ve had terrorists, they had a lot of people in there that they couldn’t have. They suffered a lot of loss of lives and they had to have it cleaned out. This outcome is something they’ve been trying to get for 10 years.”
Earlier this week, Erdogan had said he would reject a cease-fire, according to The Associated Press. “They say ‘declare a cease-fire.’ We could never declare a cease-fire,” he told reporters….
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