Vice President Mike Pence has received a less than enthusiastic response in Turkey, where he’s gone to try to convince President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop his incursion into northern Syria. That’s against the backdrop of the U.S. having been forced to conduct an airstrike against an American munitions storage bunker at a U.S. base to prevent those weapons from being seized by groups on any side, presumably including escaping ISIS prisoners.
Pence’s visit was preceded by Donald Trump’s bizarre and frankly embarrassing letter, sent the day the invasion began, in which he urged Erdogan, “Let’s work out a good deal!” According to Turkish officials, Erdogan “dumped Trump’s letter to the trash.”
Pence is accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and both are supposedly meeting with Erdogan, but coverage will be limited. Washington Post reporters say that Erdogan is not allowing press into the meetings or even in the palace, “despite the vice president’s team pushing for access to the beginning of the bilateral meeting.”
Judging by the initial photograph, it’s off to a bad start. Note the customary display of both country’s flags in the background has been dispensed with—this is all on Erdogan’s terms.
First pic from Erdogan, Pence meeting.
NO ONE is happy pic.twitter.com/bU1sxNJlaX
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) October 17, 2019