Meeting of Turkish president, US vice president ends

ANKARA

An almost two-hour meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in the Turkish capital Ankara has ended. 

The two met at the Presidential Complex at 3.40 p.m. (1240GMT) and spoke for an hour and 40 minutes.

Following their closed-door talks, a meeting between Turkish and the U.S. delegations began.

There was no official statement after their meeting, but U.S. officials said Pence and his delegation had been sent to discuss the Turkish anti-terror operation that began last week in northern Syria, and related issues.

Pence arrived in Ankara earlier today leading a delegation including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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.

Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
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