Turkey: United Syria impossible with Assad

Turkey wants to proceed “step-by-step” and see the outcome of planned peace talks in Astana.

Turkey still believes a united and peaceful Syria is impossible with President Bashar al-Assad but wants to proceed “step-by-step” and see the outcome of planned peace talks in Astana, President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Friday.

“Our position on Assad is clear. We don’t believe that a united, peaceful Syria will be possible with Assad remaining in power. But we will see how Astana talks go, we want to go step by step at this point,” Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said.

Speaking to reporters at a roundtable in Ankara, Kalin said fighting in Syria had largely stopped over the past two weeks under a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey.

US has not received formal invitation to Syria talks in Astana

The United States has not received a formal invitation to Syria peace talks being organized by Russia and Turkey to be held in the Kazakh capital of Astana on Jan. 23, the US State Department said on Friday.

“To my knowledge we have not received … a formal invitation to the talks,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said at a daily briefing.


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