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US Sanctions Could Be Lifted If Turkey's Ceasefire Holds

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US Sanctions Could Be Lifted If Turkey's Ceasefire Holds

The U.S. has reached an agreement with Turkey that if a ceasefire with Syrian and Kurdish forces holds for the next five days, then recently announced U.S. sanctions against Turkey could be lifted. 

The deal to lift the U.S. sanctions was announced by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after they met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ministers in Ankara on Oct. 17. 

"Part of our understanding is that with the implementation of the ceasefire, the United States will not impose any further sanctions on Turkey," Pence said at a televised press conference. "And once a permanent ceasefire is in effect, the president has agreed to withdraw the economic sanctions that were imposed this last Monday." 

However, the U.S. action will depend on Turkey's ability to maintain the ceasefire, Pence said. 

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Oct. 14 imposed economic sanctions on Turkey's Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, as well as three senior government officials.

The financial sanctions came in response to President Trump's executive order to punish the Turkish government after its recent military strikes in Syria. 

Turkey immediately took military action after Trump on Oct. 9 signed an executive order to remove U.S. troops from Syria and added that the Kurds would be on their own to defend themselves. 

OFAC added the two Turkish ministries, along with Hulusi Akar, minister of national defense; Suleyman Soylu, minister of interior; and Fatih Donmez, minister of energy, to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List.

Placement on the SDN List blocks any assets or investments that these two Turkish ministries and three government individuals may have in the U.S. and prevents U.S. persons or companies from conducting business.

Image by Gage Skidmore 

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