Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told FOX Business on Wednesday that he still plans to travel to Turkey to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“We have every expectation that we will meet with President Erdogan,” he told Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria”. “The president felt it was important that we do this at the most senior levels of the United States government to speak to him face to face — he needs to stop. He needs to stop the incursion into Syria. This is a complicated matter with lots of states at play, lots of non-state actors as well and we’re working to try and find a resolution.”
Pompeo’s comments came on the heels of Turkey’s president telling Sky News that he would only speak with President Trump on Wednesday about a ceasefire in Syria. However, he later clarified his remarks in an off-camera briefing with Turkish media, saying that he would meet with Vice President Mike Pence and Pompeo.
Pompeo said that he was also on the phone call that Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted about, regarding Erdogan's pledge to stay away from Kurdish territory in Syria. Pompeo also received the same commitment from his Turkish counterpart and “it would not be useful for Turkey” or a “good thing for the world” because it’s a big city with a large multi-ethnic civilian population.
“We need them to stand down. We need a ceasefire at which point we can begin to put this back together again,” he said.
When Bartiromo asked if he’s prepared to hold Erdogen personally responsible for breaking his promise and for the recent behavior of Turkey, Pompeo responded that the goal is to deny “Turkey the capacity to continue to engage in this behavior.”