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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Erdoghan: Assad's fate must be decided by Syrian people

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Ankara, Oct 27, IRNA -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the need for preserving Syria's territorial integrity, saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad's fate must be determined by the Syrian people.

The four-nation summit on Syria between Turkey, Russia, Germany, and France ended in Istanbul on Saturday.

The summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Vahdettin Pavilion in the city's Uskudar district and attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron lasted two hours and 45 minutes, according to trtworld.

Speaking at a joint news conference after the summit, Erdogan said the summit was aimed at reaching a full ceasefire to halt bloodshed in Syria.

Regarding the political future of Syria, Erdogan said, 'The fate of Bashar Assad will not be decided by individuals, but the Syrian people.'

He said the Astana peace process for the Syrian conflict had set an example to the international community in efforts to solve the crisis, adding that Turkey, Russia, Germany, and France had 'fruitful and sincere' consultations during Saturday's summit in Istanbul.

'The main reason why Syrian conflict became global menace is that the international community did not respond adequately,' Erdogan told the news conference.

Calling for immediate ceasefire and cessation of bloodshed in Syria, he said, "I believe that with sincere and constructive moves, we will not dash Syrian people's hope."

Erdogan said the Istanbul summit called for the completion of the establishment of the committee tasked with writing a new constitution for Syria as soon as possible.

'We have agreed to boost the cooperation between our four countries and at the international level,' Erdogan said.

The Turkish president underlined that Turkey will continue to eliminate threats to its national security in the east of Euphrates as well as in its west in Syria.

'Turkey will not tolerate any terrorist group along its borders or in any part of Syria,' Erdogan said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia counted on Turkey for the withdrawal of the opposition forces from the buffer zone in Syria's Idlib.

He said the international community should put joint efforts for Syria, adding that Russia and Turkey invited France and Germany to hold an international conference on the crisis.

Putin said Russia reserved 'right to help Damascus to eliminate terrorists in Idlib in case of any provocation.'

French President Emmanuel Macron said the restructuring of an inclusive Syria is very important, adding that the Syrian people must have a say on their own future.

The leaders of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany on Saturday stressed the need for a lasting ceasefire in Syria and the need to continue fighting against militants, while calling for a constitutional committee to be convened by the end of the year.

In a joint communique following their four-way meeting in Istanbul, the countries also said they highlighted the need to create conditions throughout Syria for the safe and voluntary return of refugees.

Putin said that a constitutional committee for Syria should start work and that Moscow would actively take part in that work.

Putin also told the joint press conference he hoped that Turkey would finish creating a demilitarized zone in Syria's Idlib province soon.


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