14:21 GMT +314 November 2019
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    A Turkish police armoured vehicle patrols the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey

    Pompeo Says US is Working To Make Sure There is No Vacuum in Syria

    © AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis
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    US Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are expected to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Thursday to discuss the ongoing military operation in Syria.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US is working to make sure there is no vacuum in Syria.

    Mr Pompeo added that he and US Vice President Mike Pence expect to meet the country's president Erdogan face-to-face. In an interview with Fox Business Network, Pompeo said the US delegation planned to leave for Ankara later on Wednesday and the talks would focus on finding a resolution to the crisis in Syria. 

    "I am very hopeful that we can get a resolution when the vice president [Mike Pence] and I travel [to Ankara] later today ... maybe 24 hours from now," Pompeo told Fox Business.

    This comes after Erdogan's announcement earlier in the day that he would not meet either Pompeo or Pence in Ankara.

    "When Trump comes here I will talk to him," Erdogan said when asked by a Sky News reporter whether he would meet Pompeo and Pence in Ankara. 

    However, later the Turkish presidential office said that Erdogan would meet Mr Pence after all. 

    Turkey's military operation in northeastern Syria has entered its second week. According to Turkish National Defence Department, 637 "terrorists" have been killed during Operation Peace Spring, which started on 9 October. Ankara says the operation is aimed at clearing the border area from Kurdish militants and creating a safe zone for Syrian refugees. 

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, United States, Syria, Turkey
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