'No future for Syrian President Assad', Turkey says

U-turn follows opening from deputy premier Simsek

26 January, 15:46

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 26 - There can be no future in Syria for President Bashar al Assad, "responsible for the death of 600,000 civilians", Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson Huseyin Muftuoglu said on Thursday.

    The statement confirms the position long held by Ankara, despite the apparent softening towards Assad shown by Turkish deputy premier Mehmet Simsek last week. Turkey must be "realistic" and "can no longer" insist on an agreement without Assad, Simsek said at the World Economic Forum in Davos before being forced to backtrack on his return.

    Turkey, like Russia, has expressed caution in relation to the proposal by new US President Donald Trump to create 'safe zones' for people fleeing conflict in Syria. "The important thing is to see the outcome of these studies, Muftuoglu said, adding that Turkey has always supported the creation of a buffer zone in the north. "The best example is in Jarabulus," he continued in reference to the strategic border city liberated from ISIS at the end of August under the military operation Euphrates Shield. (ANSAmed).

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