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Erdogan says Turkey expects U.S. to keep promises, not stall Syria truce deal

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a gathering in Kayseri, Turkey, October 19, 2019. Mustafa Kamaci/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey expects the United States to keep its promises and not use stalling tactics in a deal between the NATO allies for Ankara to pause its offensive into northeastern Syria while the Kurdish fighters it is targeting withdraw, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

Ankara and Washington agreed on Thursday to a five-day truce in northeastern Syria to allow the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia to withdraw from a “safe zone” that Turkey aims to establish. Erdogan has said the offensive will resume if the withdrawal is not complete within the five days.

Speaking at an event in Istanbul, Erdogan said he had told the European Union countries and the U.S. delegation with which he struck the deal that Turkey would resume the operation if the deal faltered.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Frances Kerry