Trump says ceasefire in Syria is holding, sanctions against Turkey lifted

The president’s announcement comes two weeks after Turkey moved into northern Syria following the U.S.’s withdrawal.
22:59 | 10/23/19

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Transcript for Trump says ceasefire in Syria is holding, sanctions against Turkey lifted
This is an ABC news special room. George Stephanopoulos. Good when we're coming and there are no because president trump is now speaking to get better reception room about seamless Syria. And for the Middle East it's been a long time. Over the last five days. You have seen that a cease fire. That we establish a long. Series border has held it has held very well beyond. Most expectations. Early this morning the government of Turkey and formed by administration that they would be stopping combat. And their offensive in Syria. And making beach cease fire permanent and it will indeed be permanent. However you would also. To find the word permanent in that part of the world as somewhat questionable we all understand that but I do believe it will be permanent. I've therefore instructed the secretary of the treasury to lift all sanctions imposed. On October 14. In response to Turkey's original offensive. Moves against the Kurds. In Syria's northeast border region. So the sanctions will be lifted. Unless something happens that we're not happy with the this was an outcome created by us the United States and nobody else. No other nation very simple. And we're willing to take blame and were also willing to take credit this is something they've been trying to do. For many many decades since then. Others have come out to help and we welcome them to do so other countries have stepped forward they want to help and we think that's great. The nations in the region must ultimately take on the responsibility of helping Turkey and Syria police dip water. We want other nations to get involved. We've secured the oil and therefore is small number of US troops will remain in the area. Where they have the oil. And we're going to be protecting it and will be deciding what we're going to doing that in the future in any event by the moves that we've made. We're achieving a much more peaceful and stable area between Turkey and Syria including a twenty mile wide. Safe zone. An interesting term safe zone that's to term we're using hopefully. That zone will become safe. Thousands and thousands of people have been killed in that zone over the years. But it's been sought for many many decades and I think we have something that's going to be strong and hold up. Turkey Syria. And all forms of the Kurds. Have been fighting floor centuries. We have done them may great service and we've done a great job. For all of them. And now we're getting out. Long time. We were supposed to be there for thirty days. That was almost ten years ago so where they after thirty days. And now Willie was supposed to be a very quick hit and let's get out and it was a quick hit except they stayed for almost ten years. Let someone else fight over this long. Blood stayed and sand. I want to thank vice president fence. And secretary of state. Pompeo front leading the American delegation. Sort of successfully. To Turkey. Several days ago along with. National security advisor O'Brien want to thank him very much. The American delegation negotiated the original five day cease fire that ended Kurdish fighters. To safely. Believe it just got them. To a point where frankly they were able it enabled them to get out to go. And move really just a few miles. It is slightly different direction. So this enable them to do so. Countless lives are now being saved as a result of our negotiation. With Turkey. And outcome reached without spilling one drop. Of American blood no injury is. Nobody shot nobody kill. I have just spoken to general mas loom. It wonderful man be commander in chief of the asked the F Kurtz. And he was extremely thankful for what the United States has done could not have been more thankful. General Muslim Roma is assured me that ice is is under very very strict blocking key. At that detention facilities are being strongly maintained. There were a few that. Got out a small number relatively speaking in had they been largely recaptured. I'm also sure that he will be issuing his own statement very shortly. We had a great talk. But we've saved the lives of many many Kurds. He understands that. The war what is going to be vicious and probably not very long. And I'm very happy to move that involved that it as our. A vice president or secretary of state. And all of the other people and our team. By getting that cease fire to stick we've done something that's very very special. But by getting to cease fire. After a tremendous amount. Of the really tough war. For a very short period of days that is something very special our troops are safe. And the pain and suffering of the three day fight that occurred was directly responsible. For our ability to make an agreement with Turkey and the Kurds. That could never have been made without this short term outburst. Should Turkey failed to honor its obligations including the protection of religious and ethnic minorities. Which I truly believe they will do we reserve the right to re impose crippling sanctions. Including substantially. Increase tariffs on steel and all other products coming out of Turkey. We are now an economic powerhouse like never. Before. And do very importantly like no other. Our economic might is stronger than it seven men. And dark competitors are not doing very well. We also expect Turkey to abide by its commitment regarding ices. As a back up to the Kurds watching over them should something happen. Turkey is there to grab a further we implore European countries to come and take those fighters that the US captured. And bring them back to their countries for incarceration. And for trial. Until just recently Europe has been very unresponsive. In doing what they should have been doing. For a long time. Now is their chance to finally act. American forces defeated. 100%. Of the ice is cal a fade during the last two years. We thank the Syrian democratic forces for their sacrifices. In this effort have been terrific. Now Turkey Syria and others in the region must work to ensure. That ice is does not regain. Any territory. It's their neighborhood they have to maintain it they have to take care of it. There were some political pundits who responded to Turkey's. Offensive in Syria. By calling for yet another American military intervention. I don't think so. But halting. The incursion. By a military force would have. Required deploying tens of thousands of American troops against Turkey a NATO ally. And a country the United States has developed a very good. Relationship went including president colonel Juan. The same people that I watched and read. Giving me in the United States advice. Where the people that I've been watching and reading for many years they are the ones that got us into the Middle East mess. But never had the vision the courage to get us out they just talk. How many Americans. Must die. In the Middle East. In the midst of these ancient sectarian. And tribal conflicts. After all of the precious blood and treasure America has poured into the deserts of the Middle East. I am committed. To pursuing a different course one that leads to victory for America. Through much work. We have done things that everybody said couldn't be done. Today's announcement validates our course of action. We us Turkey. That only. A couple of weeks ago was scorned. And now people are saying wow. What a great outcome. Congratulations. It's too early to me. To be congratulated. But we've done a good job we saved a lot of lives. Most importantly we have avoided another costly military intervention. Tech could have led to disaster is far reaching consequences. Many thousands of people could have been killed. So last administration said Asad must go. They could've easily produce that outcome but they didn't. In fact they drew a very powerful red line in the sand you all remember the Red Line in the sand. When children were gasping killed. But then did not honor their commitment. As other children died. In the same horrible manner. But I did honor my commitments with 58 tomahawks. Eight long years after. President Obama is ill fated push. At regime change US troops are still. On the ground in Syria. I more than half a million people are dead. Hundreds of thousands are terribly engine. And millions more Syrians. Are displaced. It really is a nightmare of misery. Across the Middle East we have seen anguish. On a colossal scale. We have spent eight trillion dollars. On wars in the Middle East. Never really wanting to win those wars. But after all that money was spent and all those lives lost. The young men and women gravely wounded so many. The Middle East is less safe less stable. And less secure. Than before these conflicts begin. The same people pushing for these wars are often the ones demanding America opened its doors to unlimited migration. From war torn regions. Importing did terrorism. And the threat of terrorism. Right to our own insurance. But not anymore. My administration understands that. Immigration security is national security. As a candidate for president I made clear that we needed a new approach to American foreign policy. One guided not by ideology. But by experience history. And Dave realistic understanding of the world. We are building up America's military might like never before. Investing two and a half trillion dollars since my election. But we will not be depleted. We will not happen again it will not be allowed to happen again for a military. Is depleted. Fighting. In areas of the world where we shouldn't be. When we commit American troops to battle we must do so. Totally won a vital national interest is at stake. And when we have a clear objective. I plan for victory and a path. Out of conflict that's what we have to have we need a plan of victory. We will only win. Our whole basis has to be the right plan and then we will only when nobody can beat us. Nobody can beat us. I want to again thank everyone on the American team who helped achieve the cease fire in Syria. Save so many lives. Along with president arrow one of Turkey a man I've gotten to know very well. And Amanda loves his country. And it is my d.s doing the right thing for his country. And we may be meeting in the very near future. I also want to thank general mas loom. For his understanding and for his great strength. At four is incredible words today to. Maybe let me just as a representative of the United States. Because he knows that we saved. Tens of thousands of parents. And we're not talking in the long term would talk it in the short term we're talking something that was going on. Immediately and something frankly that was planned for a long time. The job of our military. Is not to police the world. Other nations must step up. And do their fair share that hasn't taken place today's breakthrough. Is a critical step in that direction. Thank you all very much in god bless America thank you. Stop on Lincoln and not. They don't know where they are. Where lots unpacked their present children didn't like reception room in the White House tell him what he called a major breakthrough in Syria in the Middle East apparently is talking about the cease fire. That was first negotiated by his vice president Mike Pence and secretary say Mike Pompeo five days ago of course. It comes two weeks to the day that Turkey moved into northern Syria to drive the Kurds out. Movie was made possible. Three days after a phone call between president trump and president aired a one of Turkey where the president made it clear that he would not stand in the way. Prince and heir to one of Turkey going in to murdered move the Kurds out the president also announcing. Did in the wake of again he called it a major breakthrough he would lift all sanctions. On Turkey major gift to president aired a one and this is also the upper remarkable split screen moment in Washington because as the president. Was speaking we want to show it right here the president's envoy. To Syria Jim Jeffords revelers testifying on capitol this is the president's ambassador dropped the special envoy for Syria. Who was warning about widespread acme ethnic cleansing the Kurds in that area since the Turks have good going called the situation a tragedy. And terribly bad and very dangerous decision victory on Turkey's part also pointing out. That over a hot hundred basis fighters. Have escaped in recent days the president said we do we've got them all back that only a few had gotten out ambassador Jeffrey did not make. That that claim and secede vigorous ignored as correspondent here. We view right now. It. To say the least the president's reading of events now in C in Turkey somewhat unique. Completely unique Imke specifically in the sense that they completely contradict what is happening. At this moment on Capitol Hill with a semester you just mentioned he also said that US force withdraw will hurt the fight against aces. And that we have not been successful he called this a tragedy into that they've seen war crimes their durst. There's some I worry happening and what we just saw this as the president essentially taking credit and and freezing this cease fire. Before a cease fire that was needed to fight to end fighting that most even his. His allies on Capitol Hill say began because he withdrew the east troops there. What I think they're doing in this White House if I were to play a little bit of a guessing game. This is the president attempting to take credit for promises kept on the campaign trail he has been saying that he wants to bring these troops home we do know that some of that will be staying behind they said he said there today. It to go he needs oil fields in that area the president a few days ago had said that he didn't think that would be necessary. But the big headline in this Georges and is the the push back the blowback that he has faced over this from his own allies on Capitol Hill Mitch McConnell said that this is a strategic nightmare for our country in this. Nearly unanimous almost but resolution passed in the house condemning the president's move didn't go far enough so he's. He's not a lot of problems on his hand here on the home front on this one at a time when he really needs those allies give us impeachment inquiry that he's he's well. It has been a chaotic situation on the ground there in northeastern Syria as well want to go to James Longman who is in the region. Right now we heard the president James say that he talking general Muslim leader of the current said that if according to the president. That general Muslim was was was grateful we know and we have known and the courage had seen the move by the by the white asked by the president as a betrayal. And greeted US forces potatoes. Give us right to a Dutch in the loss few moments we've seen a tweet from general Muslim is into the pool with a trip Malia president was saying that I just spoke with president trumpet explained to him. The Turkish violations of the truth it would not have been possible without his great at the hospital what you tape. An important lies as president trump promised to maintain policies of the STF Hutton long term support. But it in public the F the F house to thank. President trump because they are exposed now you know I think we've been speaking to Kurdish come on this on the from line and they said that both the US Turkey agreement that was struck. I'm the agreement that followed between Russia and Turkey and the president didn't want to mention months mentioned Ross said that. Those essentially legitimized Turkey's incursion into northern Syria. The new agreement between Turkey and Russia and owls Turkey to keep about twenty miles I'm on the board a body found out. Costs the cuddle Robert full says the cuts to move out from. Another part of territory to the east and west cool along the border present two on today was saying. That had cut its fortifications would be destroyed that the Kurdish forces must move back he calls them. Terrorists and I think over and above what's happened over the last ten days Kurdish people a white about what happens going forward. President underlines bigger picture here which is the resettlement of millions of Syrians in today homeland. As he would just saying there is a very very delicate ethnic and religious comments in this part of the wealth. This northeastern corner of Syria throughout this Syrian civil war has been relatively peaceful has been a place less. Muslim and Christian have laid side by side in minutes it cases where women often ended in pout and away at an auto pound. In other parts of the region pull out I think is now on the line because what president out on wants to do. Is essentially re populated part of northern Syria. With Sunni Arabs. And the ethnic tensions that are possible as a result of that are pretty softening. OK James Sensenbrenner senior national correspondent Terry Moran as well dietary CC pointed out the president received a lot of blowback from Republicans. On on capitol infects her McConnell been preparing a resolution criticizing the president's. Policy but also to pick up on what James Longman. Yeah I just said there the president railed against President Obama and his attempts to take a side out. In Syria one of the consequences of the last couple of weeks oops we seen. The strengthens it position of a sod of air to one in Turkey of Latimer food. Absolutely direct make no mistake about it in the Middle East this is seen as a strategic defeat. For the United States and once self inflicted. As bad if not worse than president Obama's strong of the Red Line went Syria used chemical weapons and then. A backing away getting UN inspectors in there hoping to do the job that way. Strength counts in that part of the world and this is seen as an act of weakness. In the face of Turkey. Of the president aired on who want to invade that part of of Syria and the United States was stopping Ayman somehow managed to get president trump to back down and abandon. Our allies more than 101000 Syrian Kurds died fighting under the direction. The United States in putting down license those. Gains are now put at risk and as you point out Russia and Assad in Syria and his backer Iran. Are now strengthened however the key line in this to me it was president trump saying let someone else. Fight over this long blood stained sand. That is the attitude a low of one of the reasons that he got elected these. Endless wars the question is will voters see that he's doing it the right way. That keeps America's reputation in the world strong that keeps their the United States' interest safe and secure or is he doing it in a chaotic way. That empowers our adversaries and enemies in the region and beyond excellent point next question can we should also point out that as the president was pulling out of Syria however you listening he can end troops into Saudi Arabia. That's right so it is not a that the United States pulling back it we're shifting. Our interest he is a strong backer of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of crown prince Mohamed bin Salman who is. Is that you're gonna US intelligence says was responsible for the murder of the journalist in Turkey. So he still is is on the board there. But with home our traditional allies are are at a loss to figure out what his policy is and there's no question that. That in the face of of this difficulty. There there are people in the in the Middle East who will say the United States cannot be counted on. When the going gets rough presents trump says she's committed to different course Terry thanks very much a C thank you James Longman. In Iraq as well we're gonna sign often are continuing our coverage will continue on line of course a full report tonight. And wounding some and we didn't hear.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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