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Turkish prime minister: Assad will leave

Türkiye Materials 8 June 2012 06:53 (UTC +04:00)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once more reiterated that Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad, formerly good friend of the prime minister, will “sooner or later leave,” urging the international community to cooperate and do “what it needs to do” to end the 15-month long violence.
Turkish prime minister: Assad will leave
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once more reiterated that Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad, formerly good friend of the prime minister, will "sooner or later leave," urging the international community to cooperate and do "what it needs to do" to end the 15-month long violence.

In a joint news conference with South African Vice President Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe, Erdoğan said he had a 3.5-hour meeting with Assad in Aleppo in early 2011, where he urged Assad to reform and make steps to democratize the country, Today's Zaman reported.

"In fact, there were very good relations with Syria in the past seven and half years. These relations were also blossomed between our families. Both me, President [Abdullah Gül], foreign minister [Ahmet Davutoğlu] matured this relationships," Erdoğan told reporters.

"But Syrian leader has never honored his promise," he underlined.

Erdoğan, who several times referred the Syrian president with his first name in a sign of belittling, noted that Assad can silence dissent by killing but the "humanity will never remain silent."

Turkish prime minister also claimed that Syrian opposition is moving forward in the country while "Bashar is surviving by the help of few countries."

Saying that the entire world is against the Syrian president, Erdoğan said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the UN General Assembly that Assad has lost all his legitimacy.

Ban said each day in Syria sees more "grim atrocities" and for many months it has been evident that Assad and his government "have lost all legitimacy."

Stressing that Turkey will never remain silent in the face of mass killings in Syria, Erdoğan said Assad will sooner or later leave and he is now preparing his end. He added that "you already know which countries are helping him."

Erdoğan said the most immediate need in Syria is to end this massacre, recalling the mass killings in a farmland in Hama province.

Activists accused government forces of killing nearly 80 people, including women and children who were shot, hacked to death and burned in their homes in Mazraat al-Qubair, a farming area.

The reports came just weeks after more than 100 people were killed in one day in a cluster of villages known as Houla in central Homs province, many of them children and women gunned down in their homes. UN investigators blamed pro-government gunmen for at least some of the killings, but the Syrian regime denied responsibility and blamed rebels for the deaths.

Erdoğan said joint UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's latest remarks is a clear evidence that promises of the Syrian government are not honored. He added that UN's Ban implied during his speech before the General Assembly on Thursday that Annan peace plan has come to an end, adding that these are signs of the start of a new process, without elaborating.

He noted that Chinese President Hu Jintao told him during his China visit that China will not use veto with respect to Syria, adding that he doesn't know if China will live up to its promise. He said he is planning to make diplomatic overtures, if possible, with Russia to urge Moscow to help end violence in Syria.

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