Turkey Slams Kerry's Call for Dialogue With Assad
Turkey has criticized United States Secretary of State John Kerry for suggesting that negotiations would have to be opened with President Bashar al-Assad to end the conflict in Syria.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the state-run Anatolia news agency on Monday that all Syria's current problems, on the fourth anniversary of the start of the uprising in March 2011, were caused by Assad’s government.
"What is there to be negotiated with Assad?" Cavusoglu was quoted as saying at the end of his visit to Cambodia.
"You are going to have what [kind of] negotiations with a regime that has killed over 200,000 people and has used chemical weapons?" he asked. "Up until now, what result has been reached [with the regime] through negotiations?"
He said all parties needed to work for a political "transformation" in Syria.
Similarly, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on March 17 criticized suggestions that talks should be held with Bashar al-Assad, saying that negotiating with the Syrian dictator would be no different from shaking hands with Nazi tyrant Adolf Hitler.
If you sit down and shake hands with al-Assad after all those massacres and despite the chemical weapons that you [the United States] declared a red line, then your hand will be never be erased from history,” Davutoğlu told his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) lawmakers in parliament.
He drew parallels between the Syrian president and Nazi leader Hitler, late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, and Iraq’s toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.
“It makes no difference to shake hands with Hitler or Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic, Saddam, or al-Assad,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Khoja calls on the Obama administration to separate the Iranian nuclear file from the Syrian crisis, citing France, Germany and Turkey as countries that support the Syrian revolution separately from the Iranian nuclear file, during an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper.
“The Syrian people have reason to suspect that there is a connection between the two files, as the Iranian regime seeks avidly to include the Syrian file, among other files it has in the region, in any possible settlement to the nuclear file,” Khoja said. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)