Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek has said Turkey can no longer insist on any settlement for Syria’s long-running war without Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Şimşek said the blame for Syria’s nearly six-year-long war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people is “squarely on Assad.” Turkey has long opposed Assad and supported rebels fighting his forces.
Speaking during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Şimsek said, however, that Turkey has to be “realistic” and that “the facts on the ground have changed dramatically” in Syria.
“So Turkey can no longer insist on, you know, a settlement without Assad,” he said.
Şimşek also said that Turkey has “high hopes” for Syrian peace talks planned for next week and hosted by Turkey, Russia and Iran in Astana, Kazakhstan.