Pompeo says he and Pence expect to meet Turkish President Erdogan despite his refusal

President Donald Trump (R) talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a cabinet meeting at the White House July 16, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that he and Vice President Mike Pence will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan despite the foreign leader earlier saying he would not attend. 

“At this point, the vice president and I are planning to take off later this afternoon,” Pompeo said. “And we have every expectation that we will meet with President Erdogan. And it’s important, Maria, we need to have this conversation with him directly.”

The comments came during an interview on Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo.

Erdogan earlier said that he would not meet with the U.S. delegation led by Pence. 

Ankara has also pledged to retaliate against U.S. sanctions imposed on Monday over the Syria offensive, with its Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying he expected the U.S. Congress to walk back its “damaging approach”, and adding that relations between Ankara and Washington were at a critical juncture.

The vice president is on a mission to convince Erdogan to commit to a ceasefire in northern Syria and pursue a peaceful resolution with U.S.-backed Kurdish militias governing the region that it has long viewed as terrorists.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates. 

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