Turkey says 'no point' in dialogue with Syria
ANKARA - Agence France- Presse
Turkey is ruling out any dialogue with the Syrian regime, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Tuesday, a day after Moscow called for negotiations with Damascus as the only way to end the escalating conflict.
"There is no point in engaging in dialogue with a regime that continues to carry out such a massacre against its own people, even during (the Muslim festival of) Eid al-Adha," Davutoğlu said at a news conference.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the West and regional players including Turkey to start negotiating with President Bashar al-Assad as well as the opposition to pave the way for a political solution in Syria, wracked by almost 20 months of conflict.
"Hardly anything will be accomplished without dialogue with the government, and that is the only problem that remains in the path towards a political process," Lavrov said after a meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, the international peace envoy for Syria.
Davutoğlu said that dialogue with Damascus, its one-time ally, would be a step that could "be legitimising the existing regime as the violence continues".
More than 500 people were reported dead during the four-day Muslim Eid holiday despite the truce brokered by Brahimi, who said the civil war in Syria was going from bad to worse.
Brahimi, who became Syria envoy after his predecessor Kofi Annan quit when his five-point peace plan fell through, will go to the UN Security Council in November with new proposals to push for talks between Assad and the opposition.