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MIDEAST > Fugitive Syria chief in talks with Turkey

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

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Runaway Syrian Brig Gen Tlass (L) lands
in Ankara after a flight from Istanbul.  DAILY NEWS photo

Runaway Syrian Brig Gen Tlass (L) lands in Ankara after a flight from Istanbul. DAILY NEWS photo

Sevil Erkuş Sevil Erkuş sevil.kucukkosum@hdn.com.tr

Senior Syrian defector Brigadier Gen. Manaf Tlass was again in Ankara on Aug. 3, in order to hold an unannounced meeting with a senior foreign ministry official.

Following his quick visit on July 26, the latest meeting was the second time Tlass had visited Ankara, as part of his efforts to obtain a role in the post-Assad era in Syria.

Tlass, who flew to Ankara from Istanbul late on Aug. 3 afternoon, held a lengthy meeting at the foreign ministry headquarters, the Daily News has learned from a reliable source.

Speaking on condition of anonymity following the meeting, a senior diplomat confirmed that Tlass had met with a senior foreign ministry official. The source, however, declined to give the name of this senior official. The same diplomat also declined to either confirm or deny whether Tlass would also meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu later in the day.

On July 26, Tlass had dinner with Davutoğlu, Intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan and senior foreign ministry officials. Turkish officials have so far abstained from declaring clear support for Tlass, but in principle Turkey believes in the advantage of a figure who has had experience in Syria for many years, rather than dissidents who have been exiled for a long period of time. Turkey has also said that not a single international or national actor believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will keep his position.

“Everybody has started making plans for the [post-al-Assad] period,” Davutoğlu said July 27 in a televised interview. 

August/04/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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Murat

8/5/2012 4:03:17 PM

Unfortunately a foreign picked leader, or even the appearance of it will doom such a project. Such a person needs credibility and some accomplishments in the field. Otherwise this fellow seems like the modern and sensible kind who would have been a good fit. Not every nation or century is blesses with an Ataturk.

Tayyar Abi

8/5/2012 10:01:32 AM

This guy looks more like a jet set playboy than he does a general.

Faruk Timuroglu

8/4/2012 10:28:18 PM

If the government of a neighboring country does it to Turkey, what PM and FM would say about that country, it would be said about Turkey and its leaders. You don’t have right to bring shame on Turkey.

Blue Dotterel

8/4/2012 4:16:44 PM

If the US has its way, Tlass will become the new dictator of Syria leading a revamped and renamed Baath party compliant with Western politcal and economic ideological objectives - meaning undermining the independence of Iran, Russia, and China, and contolling their resources and markets.
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