A senior U.S. delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence pursued an uphill mission Thursday to persuade Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to call for a cease-fire in his fight with Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Armored SUVs carrying Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien entered the vast Turkish presidency complex in Ankara. Photos released by the Turkish government showed Pence and Erdogan wearing dour expressions as they shook hands before their one-on-one meeting.
That meeting lasted a little less than an hour and a half. A second meeting with the full delegations was still ahead.
The U.S. officials were expected to warn Erdogan that he will face additional economic sanctions if he doesn't halt his assault on Kurdish forces once allied with the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State group.