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Truce must stop Turkey’s support for militants: Assad

21 February 2016 8:37



Syrian President Bashar alAssad says he is ready for a ceasefire on condition that it stops Turkey and other countries from sending militants and weapons into the country.

A ceasefire must guarantee that “other countries, especially Turkey, are prevented from sending more terrorists and weapons, or any kind of logistical support,” Assad said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, on Saturday.

Along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey has been implicated in support for Daesh Takfiri terrorists and other foreign-backed groups aiming to bring down the Syrian government.

“We have said that we are ready to stop military operations, but the issue relates to more important factors … such as preventing terrorists from using it to improve their positions,” he added, noting that it is his duty to save the country.

“If the Syrian people want me to be in power, I will be. If they don’t want me, I can do nothing, I mean, I cannot help my country, so I have to leave right away,” he said.

He also stressed that Russia and Iran’s support during his country’s recent gains were “essential.”

“We definitely need that help for a simple reason; because more than 80 countries supported those terrorists in different ways,” he added.

Earlier, various Syrian opposition factions announced the possibility of a conditional ceasefire.

According to a statement released by the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee, several factions had “expressed agreement on the possibility of reaching a temporary truce deal, to be reached through international mediation.”

So far, attempts to negotiate a ceasefire in the war-torn country have failed. The latest round of UN-sponsored talks are being chaired by the US and Russia.

Following a marathon meeting held in Munich on February 12, world powers agreed a cessation of hostilities, which was scheduled to start after a week but never took effect.

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