Stability in Syria under Assad ‘a dream’: Turkish FM
Emine Kart - ANKARA
AP photoTurkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu has discredited any argument suggesting war-torn Syria could regain stability under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying anyone defending such an argument was “in a dream,” while also asserting that Russia has made “a big mistake” in regards to its Syria policy.
“If there are those who believe that Bashar al-Assad could again rule over Syria, that he could rebuild his authority and that this way, Syria could regain stability again, then they are in a dream,” Sinirlioğlu said on Oct. 15, at a joint press conference with his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Adel al-Jubeir, following their meeting.
“We are of the opinion that the only way to do this [provide stability] in Syria can be carried out through a transition period which would provide a political transformation,” Sinirlioğlu said, citing the principles of the Geneva I agreement signed at a peace conference in 2012, laying the groundwork for a transitional government, as an appropriate framework.
The ongoing “chaos” in both Iraq and Syria was not in favor of Turkey, which has the ultimate goal of rebuilding a lasting stability between these two countries, particularly Syria, Sinirlioğlu added.
Listing the fatal consequences of “the war declared by al-Assad against his own people in the last four years,” the career diplomat reiterated: “Assuming that such a person, who is currently able to control only 14 percent of the country, can exist in Syria’s future is nothing but a dream.”
He noted Turkey has been openly telling these views to all countries which have “intervened in the situation in Syria.”
Sinirlioğlu’s comments on the role that Turkey’s Black Sea neighbor Russia has been playing in Syria were clear-cut.
“Russia has made a big mistake. What it has been doing will not bring any good other than delaying Syria’s transition period and its possibility of getting out of this turmoil. We will continue our warnings on this issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) announced on the very same day that a delegation from the Russian air force informed the Turkish military about air space violations that took place on Oct. 3 and 4 at a meeting in Ankara on Oct. 15.
The delegation, chaired by Russian Air Force Major General Sergey Dronov, also informed the Turkish army about measures taken to prevent a repetition of such violations, the statement said. In Moscow, earlier on Oct. 15, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was ready for close cooperation with Turkey on fighting terrorism, in comments after a deadly blast that killed at least 99 people in Ankara last weekend.
“We are ready for very close cooperation and very close engagement with the Turkish authorities in the fight against the terrorist threat,” Lavrov said at a Russian-Turkish partnership conference in Moscow.
Elsewhere, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted as saying by RIA news agency that Russia was expecting consultations to take place in the next few days with Turkish officials over Syria.
Bogdanov said he hoped Turkey would support Russia’s efforts in Syria, the agency reported.