Arabs and Turkey see no role for al-Assad

Arabs and Turkey see no role for al-Assad

ABU DHABI - Agence France-Presse
Arabs and Turkey see no role for al-Assad

Syrian troops celebrate as they take control of the village of Haydariyah. AFP photo

Five Arab countries and Turkey have reiterated that President Bashar al-Assad should have no role in the future of Syria, as Russia and the United States proposed a peace conference.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as that of Turkey - all supporters of the Syrian opposition - expressed their stand at a meeting late May 13 in Abu Dhabi, WAM Emirati news agency said. The ministers backed a June 2012 Geneva plan for a transitional government in Syria as long as “it takes in consideration that president Assad and his aides with blood-stained hands would have no place in Syria’s future,” WAM said.

The ministers “reiterated their support for a political solution to end the bloodshed in Syria, pointing out that the Syrian regime is the one preventing that,” WAM said.

The stand by the five Arab nations and Turkey comes as Russia, which is a strong ally of Syria, and the United States, proposed a peace conference to push Damascus and the rebels to hold talks. The acting head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, George Sabra, said on May 13 that the group will consult with its backers Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, before it decides whether to take part in the conference.

Riyadh, Ankara and Doha are the opposition’s main backers, providing it with money and weapons.