Saudi Arabia, Turkey: No role for Assad in transitional period

Orient Net - Agencies 2016-09-08 15:59:00

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has dismissed the possibility of a transition period in Syria including the head of the Syrian regime Bashar Assad, adding operations conducted by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) should continue towards the south of the country and that the Manbij area “should be cleared of terrorists.” 

Speaking at a joint press conference with Saudi counterpart Adil Al-Jubeir, Çavuşoğlu said chaos in Syria would continue if Assad remained in power during the transition process, as he was responsible for “killing of 600,000 Syrians; even yesterday he used chlorine gas.”

Assad missed an opportunity in the beginning of the Syrian crisis when he responded to the people’s demands with arms, the foreign minister stated.

Çavuşoğlu also stressed the Syrian opposition’s military operation against ISIS should continue towards the south of the country, adding the Manbij area should be closed to the group and “cleared of terrorists.”

“Thus the region will be a safe area. We’ll work with Saudi Arabia for the return of Syrians on their own will. Returns have even started; yesterday more than 200 returned to Jarablus,” he said.

On his side, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Riyadh has “similar stance” with Ankara regarding Syria, describing the stances of Turkey and Saudi Arabia as “fully coincide with each other regarding Syria.”

Jubeir described that the plan put forth by the Syrian opposition is “detailed” and “complete,” adding that Assad’s regime was still rejecting a political solution.

On Wednesday, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Syria’s main opposition negotiating group, said it would reject any deal struck by Russia and the United States on Syria’s fate that was very different from its own proposed transition plan.