FM denies claims on Brotherhood
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News AgencyThe Turkish Foreign Minister has denied Syrian claims that Ankara pressured Damascus to engage in political dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood, but has acknowledged that Bashar al-Assad was advised to make peace with those who fled the country after the 1982 Hama massacre.
“We never once mentioned the Musim Brotherhood,” Ahmet Davutoğlu said in an interview with TRT television late Feb. 28, in response to his Syrian counterpart’s remarks that Ankara’s position on the Muslim Brotherhood was the main disagreement that led to the break in bilateral ties. “But it’s true that previously, stating in 2005, we always told the Syrian government to invite back those who fled the country because of the 1982 massacre in Hama. The Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] told Assad that those people who fled Hama were now in their third generation. He told him to call them back to Syria, to make peace with them and not see them as enemies,” In a related development, Davutoğlu discussed the Syrian turmoil with Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League envoy on Syria, in a phone call late Feb. 28.