Trump on Turkey going into Syria: 'It's not our border'
Donald Trump on Wednesday again tried to distance himself and the U.S. from the unfolding fightingin northeastern Syria, telling reporters in the Oval Office, "It's not our border," ABC News reports.
The comment comes amid a torrent of criticism, including among Republicans, of Trump's decision to pull back U.S. troops ahead of a Turkish operation against U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces and now to withdraw nearly all American forces from the war-torn country.
Instead, Trump has called for a ceasefire and peace settlement, dispatching Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien to Ankara to meet Turkish officials.
But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made clear again Wednesday he has no interest in "sitting at a table with a terrorist organization... We're not looking for a mediator or anything, we don't need it," he told Turkish Parliament in a speech.
Erdogan declined to meet with O'Brien, who arrived Wednesday in Ankara and met with Turkey's foreign minister. On Thursday, Erdogan will meet with Pence and Pompeo, who depart from Washington Wednesday, according to Erdogan's communications director.
Despite Erdogan's comments, Trump denied that Erdogan didn't want a ceasefire, saying while seated next to Italian President Sergio Mattarella, "We're trying to get Turkey to do the right thing. We want to get wars stopped."