“Transition process with Assad possible“: Turkey apparently willing to change its Syria policy

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In his speech, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Syrian President Dr. Bashar al-Assad could take part in the transitional process in the war torn country on September 24. Turkey is one of the largest countries opposing the current Syrian government in the region. The change in tone towards the government is clearly evident, after recent consultations with the Russian Federation.

“A transition process with, or without al-Assad is possible. However, the involvement of the opposition would be required […]. Nobody can imagine a future in Syria with President Bashar al-Assad. It is not possible to accept a person who is responsible for the deaths of 300,000 to 350,000 people, a dictator.” said Erdogan after the Eid al-Adha prayer in Istanbul on September 24. Regarding the conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on September 23 in Moscow, Erdogan pointed out that he “could not see a clear perspective in the Russian approach towards Syria.”

In addition, Erdogan stated that the Turkish and Russian Foreign Minister would create a new working group on the Syrian crisis.

“We have decided to cooperate in this case at the UN General Assembly as a triad, consisting of the foreign ministers of the US, Turkey and Russia,” Erdogan said. However, Iran and Saudi Arabia would also be involved in the talks. Witht he participation of the EU, Jordan and Qatar, the frame-work could be extended, according to the Turkish Prime-minister.

Erdogan said that he assumes from the talks he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin, that Bashar al Assad wanted to create an alawite Syria, reaching 15 percent of its national territory, from Damascus to Latakia. Homs included.

The Turkish president however reiterated Ankara’s desire to set up a “security zone” in northwestern Syria, which should be free of all terrorist organizations.



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