President Donald Trump issued a stern warning letter to Turkish President Recep Erdogan on Wednesday urging him to cut a deal and not do anything foolish in Northern Syria.
“Let’s work out a good deal! You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy—and I will. I’ve already given you a little sample with respect to Pastor Brunson,” Trump said in his letter.
Trump was referencing Pastor Andrew Brunson, a Christian political prisoner who was held hostage in Turkey for two years. Trump helped to maneuver the Turkish government with sanctions, which facilitated Brunson’s release last year.
“We’re grateful to the president, members of Congress and diplomatic leaders who continued to put pressure on Turkey to secure the freedom of Pastor Brunson,” said Jay Sekulow, who served as Brunson’s attorney, following his client’s release.
Trump has a history of using strength against the Turkish government when it goes rogue, and he makes it clear in his letter that he will not hesitate to do it again if it becomes necessary.
“I have worked hard to solve some of your problems,” Trump continued. “Don’t let the world down. You can make a great deal. General Mazloum is willing to negotiate with you, and he is willing to make concessions that they would never have made in the past. I am confidentially enclosing a copy of his letter to me, just received.”
“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” Trump concluded.
The entire letter can be seen here:
EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained a copy of @realDonaldTrump’s letter to #Erdogan. @POTUS warns him to not “be a tough guy! Don’t be a fool!” Says he could destroy Turkey’s economy if #Syria is not resolved in a humane way. Details tonight at 8pm #TrishRegan #FoxBusiness pic.twitter.com/9BoSGlbRyt
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) October 16, 2019
Erdogan will reportedly meet with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today to discuss a possible deal.
“At this point, the vice president and I are planning to take off later this afternoon,” Pompeo said during an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo today.
“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,” he added.
While Trump is getting ready to place economic sanctions on Turkey, he has remained firm on his stance against bringing troops back into Syria.
“If Turkey goes into Syria, that’s between Turkey and Syria,” he told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday. “It’s not between Turkey and the United States, like a lot of stupid people would like us to — would like you to believe.”
“If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that’s really up to them,” Trump added. “They have a problem with Turkey. They have a problem at a border. It’s not our border. We shouldn’t be losing lives over it.”
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