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Will they, won’t they? Erdogan says he won’t meet US delegation, will only speak to Trump, walks back hours later

Will they, won’t they? Erdogan says he won’t meet US delegation, will only speak to Trump, walks back hours later
The Turkish president said he has no intention of talking to a US delegation headed by VP Mike Pence, which is due to arrive in Ankara later on Wednesday, but seems to have changed his mind hours later.

The delegation, which also includes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is going to talk to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about stopping Ankara’s ongoing military incursion in northeastern Syria, Pompeo told US media.

The Turkish leader, however told Sky News he had no intention of offering a face-to-face meeting and would only talk to his American counterpart Donald Trump.

But a couple of hours later his position apparently changed. Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said his boss was referring to another US delegation, which was already in Ankara.

The Turkish campaign was launched after Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops from positions under control of Syrian Kurdish militias, which Ankara calls terrorists. Trump earlier threatened to hit Turkey with crippling economic sanctions, should he decide that Erdogan was stepping out of line in Syria. But Turkey remained defiant and said it was defending itself from a terrorist threat and that other NATO members should have helped instead of criticizing it.

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