Politics, World

Assad can no longer continue in Syria: Turkish FM

Turkish foreign minister calls for transitional government in Syria as soon as possible

Assad can no longer continue in Syria: Turkish FM LUCCA, Italy - APRIL 11, 2017: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu responding to reporters' questions on the sidelines of a G7 foreign ministers' meeting in Lucca, Italy.

By Baris Seckin

LUCCA, Italy

Turkey’s foreign minister on Tuesday said the Bashar al-Assad regime "can no longer continue in Syria".

Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking at a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Italy, also said Syria needed a transitional government as soon as possible.

Cavusoglu said conflicting facts about Syria, the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons and the situation after the U.S. fired missiles at regime facilities were discussed.

“U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Moscow after the G7 meeting. We have talked about the issues that need to be addressed in Moscow,” Cavusoglu stressed and stated that “it is no longer possible to continue with the Assad regime in Syria”.

Cavusoglu said Turkey’s view was also brought up during the meeting.

“We have stressed that [the Assad regime] may also attack Idlib and we need to take measures for this. We have also stressed that Russia should be persuaded on a Syria without Assad.”

“Now,” Cavusoglu said, adding: “We have to end the regime's distraction strategies.”

Last week, some 100 civilians were reportedly killed and 500 others, mostly children, were injured by a chemical weapons attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun, Idlib province -- which has been blamed on the Assad regime.

In response, the U.S. fired 59 Tomahawk missiles from destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea at a Syrian military airbase American officials believe was used to carry out the attack.

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