October 16, 2019 / 1:06 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. seeks Turkish ceasefire from meeting with Erdogan: Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers statements at the State Department in Washington, U.S., October 9, 2019.REUTERS/Erin Scott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said he and Vice President Mike Pence aimed to stop Turkey from pressing on with its assaults in the Syria when the U.S. delegation meets with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan this week.

Pompeo, in an interview on Fox Business Network, said the U.S. delegation’s goal was to find a resolution to the situation in Syria, not break the U.S.-Turkey relationship.

“We have every expectation that we will meet with President Erdogan,” Pompeo told the network, adding that it was important that top officials from the Trump administration have direct, “face-to-face” talks.

“He needs to stop the incursion into Syria,” Pompeo said. “We need them to stand down. We need a ceasefire at which point we can begin to put this all back together again.”

Asked if he held Erdogan personally responsible for the situation in Syria, Pompeo said: “We have to remember this is a complex situation.”

The U.S. delegation is scheduled to depart Washington Wednesday evening, according to the White House.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Makini Brice; Editing by Toby Chopra

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