We wanted al-Assad to be Gorbachev, he turned into Milosevic: Davutoğlu
AA PhotoTurkey had hoped that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would handle his country’s crisis like ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev but he turned into former Yugoslavian leader Slobadon Milosevic instead, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said in Washington.
“We wanted [al-Assad] to be the Gorbachev of Syria, but he chose to be Milosevic. That is a problem,” Davutoğlu told students at George Washington University.
Davutoğlu likened the present situation in Syria to what happened to Sarajevo during Milosevic’s rule in Belgrade.
"Just like in Sarajevo, a city collapses day by day," he said in reference to the central Syrian city of Homs. "Will we wait and see? No, never. As Turkey, we will not simply watch a massacre taking place in our region. We are trying to raise a new international awareness."
Davutoğlu told the students that they had planned out a three-step strategy regarding the events of Syria, first of which was dialogue.
"Unfortunately, [al-Assad] failed to deliver and now we have no hope of any fruitful results to be obtained through dialogue,” Davutoğlu said.
Davutoğlu said they had been optimistic in the early stages and had agreed with al-Assad over a reform road map in August.
The second stage was a regional initiative that involved the Arab League and the third was to bring the situation to the international platform, which Davutoğlu said was now deadlocked because of Russia and China’s vetoes.
When asked about his previously good relations with al-Assad, Davutoğlu said, “Yes, we had good relations for nine years because then he wasn't fighting against his own people.”