Istanbul, Aug 21 (IANS) Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday that his country will play a more active role in helping address the Syrian crisis within the next six months.
“Turkey supports the territorial integrity of Syria and will do its best to prevent the country from being ethnically divided,” Yildirim told the foreign press in Istanbul.
He said Iran, the Gulf countries, the United States and Russia can make joint efforts to end the war in Syria and set details over a transition period in the country, Xinhua news agency reported.
The premier added that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could be accepted as an actor during the transition period but he has no place in Syria’s future, as he would not be able to keep the integrity of the country in the long run.
On Wednesday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus described Ankara’s policy on Syria, under which al-Assad’s ouster had been insisted upon, as “a source of many sufferings for Turkey today”.
Kurtulmus was referring to repeated terror attacks and the influx of Syrians into Turkey, among others.
Turkey and Russia have moved toward ending the Syrian war after they started in late June to repair bilateral relations battered over Ankara’s downing of a Russian warplane in November 2015.