Turkey has slammed the United States for proposing open talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in order to end the crisis in the Arab country.
Turkey’s foreign minister on Monday reacted furiously to a call by US Secretary of State John Kerry for launching a dialogue with the Syrian president, saying that there would come nothing out of such talks.
“What is there to be negotiated with Assad?” Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Anatolia news agency at the end of his trip to Cambodia.
Cavusoglu also claimed that the previous negotiations with the Assad government have all failed to yield results.
Turkey has been one of the main opponents of Assad since a conflict began in Syria over four years ago. Ankara is being accused by many governments for the persistence of bloody violence in Syria as it has openly supported the armed militants fighting against Assad. Various offshoots of al-Qaeda and the ISIL Takfiri terrorists use the Turkey-Syrian border as a major supply route for obtaining heavy weapons and artillery.
Kerry, whose country is also a main backer of anti-government militants, said Sunday that launching negotiations with Assad would be inevitable if a settlement is to emerge from the conflict, which has claimed the lives of more than 215,000 people since March 2011.
“We have to negotiate in the end” with Assad, Kerry said in an interview with CBS News.
Cavusoglu, however, insisted again that Assad (pictured above) must have no role in resolving the dispute in Syria as, according to him, only a “political transformation” could end the crisis in the Arab country.
Turkish officials have repeatedly called for Assad’s removal from power despite a rising inclination in the international community for engaging more with the Syrian government to find a political solution to the crisis.
The new statement by the Turkish foreign minister seems to further deepen the conflict of interests between Washington and Ankara, especially on the issue of Syria. Turkey has provided limited support to a US-led coalition against what is said to be ISIL positions in parts of Syria and Iraq. Ankara has also refused to give Washington access to the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey for launching airstrikes against ISIL in Syria.