Turkey, Middle East

Syrians will decide on their leader: Turkish deputy

Return of refugees will not be possible if Assad leads Syria, says head of Turkish parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee

08.11.2018
Syrians will decide on their leader: Turkish deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of Turkish Parliament Volkan Bozkir

Moskova

By Ali Cura

MOSCOW 

If Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad heads a post-civil war Syria, Syrians who are refugees in other countries will not be able to return, according to a leading Turkish parliamentarian.

"Of course, the Syrian people will make the main decision on who will replace Assad," Volkan Bozkir, the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said on a visit to Moscow on Thursday.

Bozkir along with a delegation met with Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

He stressed that Turkey hosts 4 million refugees from Syria out of around 5-6 million total Syrian refugees.

On the Astana and Sochi processes for peace in Syria, Bozkir said that Turkey, Russia and Iran took very important steps on the Syrian issue.

"Thanks to these three countries, the UN has the chance to succeed after many years," he said.

Calling Russia a "smart" country with a deep state culture, Bozkir said Turkish-Russian relations stretch back some 300 years, hailing ties as “exemplary."

During the meeting, Bozkir also proposed the establishment of Turkey-Azerbaijan-Russia and Turkey-Serbia-Russia trilateral foreign affairs commissions.

Kosachev, for his part, said that Syria issue is one of the most important topics in the Russian-Turkish dialogue.

"Turkey and Russia may have different positions on the interpretation of events, and we know the conflicting issues. We have a consensus on the future of Syria," he said.

Kosachev also stressed that the differences cannot prevent joint efforts, adding that they are trying to eliminate terror bases in the region.

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