Turkish opposition CHP delegation visits al-Assad
Syria’s President al-Assad (L) speaks with CHP lawmaker Akgöl.A parliamentary delegation from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad early yesterday. The three-member group, which consisted of deputy leader Şafak Pavey and deputies from the neighboring Hatay province, Hasan Akgöl and Mevlut Dudu, was in Syria following an invitation from al-Assad, according to CHP sources.
Al-Assad told the team there was “a need to distinguish between the stance of the Turkish people, who back stability in Syria, and the positions of Premier Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government, which supports terrorism.
“The Syrian people appreciates the position adopted by forces and parties in Turkey that reject the Erdoğan government’s negative impact on our societies, which are multi-religious and multi-ethnic,” al-Assad added.
The Turkish delegation stressed “the Turkish people’s refusal to interfere in Syrian affairs, and its commitment to good neighborly relations,” the statement said. The visitors also “warned of the risks of the Syrian crisis’s impact on Turkey and other countries in the region.”
Prime Minister criticized the visit, saying he could not understand what the CHP wanted to achieve with such an action.
Earlier in the day, Erdoğan again touched on the tragedy being faced by Syrian women and children. “For two years, the Syrian people have been viciously massacred by a dictator who has all kinds of war machines in his hands. With bombardments, tanks and artilleries. He also has children and a wife. These were people with whom I met along with my family, but everything suddenly changed. The moment he changed, we deleted him from our life, because those who tyrannize their own people in this way cannot be our friend,” Erdoğan said.
Damascus, meanwhile, called on the international community in letters to the U.N. to condemn Ankara’s role in the Syrian conflict. Al-Assad’s government has systematically blamed the violence in Syria on a foreign-backed plot, and has frequently accused Turkey.