The committee that leads U.S. legislation on foreign policy will not move to sanction Turkey during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Washington next week, Politico reported on Thursday.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jim Risch has moved to delay action on bipartisan sanctions bills in response to Turkey’s military operation in northeast Syria, senators and aides told Politico.
Ankara launched its offensive on Oct. 9 after U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to withdraw troops from the border areas, where they had been deployed alongside the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
U.S. lawmakers saw the withdrawal as a betrayal of groups that had fought for years against the Islamic State, and condemned Turkey’s operation.
Last week, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion to sanction Turkey and another recognise the massacres of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian minority as a genocide.
Erdoğan’s planned Nov. 13 trip to Washington was cast into doubt by the House resolutions, but he reconfirmed that he will visit after a phone call with Trump on Wednesday.
Risch’s move “to delay action on the sanctions bill ensures President Donald Trump won’t need to deal with a diplomatic flap during Erdogan’s Washington trip,” Politico said.