Turkey: Assad Can be Part of Transition Period in Syria

The Times of Israel reports: ISTANBUL — Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Saturday his country is willing to accept a role for Syrian President Bashar Assad during a transitional period, but insisted he has no place in Syria’s future.

Speaking to foreign media representatives in Istanbul, the prime minister also said that Turkey would aim to become more of a regional player with regard to Syria in the next six months.

Turkey is one of the main supporters of rebels fighting to overthrow Assad, and hosts more than 2.7 million Syrian refugees.

“Could Syria carry Assad in the long-term? Certainly not,” Yildirim said. “The United States knows and Russia knows that Assad does not appear to be someone who can bring [the people] together.”

“We may sit and talk [with him] for the transition. A transition may be facilitated. But we believe that there should be no [Kurdish rebels], Daesh or Assad in Syria’s future,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

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