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US says Turkey agrees to Syria ceasefire, could pave way for lifting sanctions

Turkey agreed to halt its military offensive in northern Syria for five days, a move that could lead to the lifting of sanctions recently imposed by the U.S., Vice President Mike Pence said Oct. 17 following talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Pence said the U.S. would not impose additional sanctions on Turkey, and that all existing sanctions would be withdrawn once the ceasefire became permanent, CNBC and Reuters reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Oct. 14 that tariffs on Turkish steel imports would be raised back to 50% from 25%, and that negotiations for a $100 billion bilateral trade deal would be suspended. The Treasury Department also placed Turkey's defense and energy ministries and their heads on a sanctions blacklist, along with the country's interior minister.

Several EU member states and the U.K. had also stopped arms exports to Turkey in response to its military action in Syria.