Earlier this week, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he would not be influenced by potential sanctions. Days after the threat, however, Turkey announced that they will hold a ceasefire to allow for Kurdish YPG fighters to leave the Syrian/Turkish border.
An announcement of the 120 hour ceasefire was made by Vice President Mike Pence. In exchange, the United States will lift the sanctions they have placed on Turkey. When asked about the deal today in Texas, Trump was effusive in his praise for Erdogan.
The President told reporters that this was an “amazing outcome” and that the Turkish President was “a hell of a leader.
Trump continued, “I just want to thank and congratulate President Erdoğan. He’s a friend of mine, and I’m glad we didn’t have a problem because frankly he’s a hell of a leader, and he’s a tough man. He’s a strong man, and he did the right thing and I really appreciate it, and I will appreciate it in the future.”
The President also told reporters that he would host Erdogan at the White House in the near future. The last time the Turkish PM visited Washington DC, his bodyguards beat protesters in the street. The charges against the men were later dropped.
Trump closed his comments with additional praise for Erdogan’s decision to accept a ceasefire. “What he did was very smart, and it was great for the people of the Turkey,” he said. “And they’re lucky that it was him that was making the decision.”