03:32 GMT +323 February 2019
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    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad

    Assad's Fate Should Be Decided by Syrian People - Turkish Foreign Ministry

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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Whatever Ankara's attitude toward the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad is, it is up to the the Syrian people to decide on its future fate, an official of the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

    On Wednesday, a trilateral meeting of Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents on Syrian settlement was held in Ankara.

    "Iran understands Turkey's sensitivity to the national security issues, [at the same time] it supports Syria's territorial integrity. But we have disagreements with Tehran: it wants the work to be coordinated with the Syrian regime and in doing so it defends it. We currently have no direct contacts with [the Syrian] regime, but it is up to the Syrian people to decide [on its future]," the official told reporters, commenting on the outcome of the trilateral summit of Syria's ceasefire guarantor states.

    READ MORE: Syrian Militants Plan Provocations With Use of Toxic Agents — Russian MoD

    The diplomat indicated that Turkey supported the Syrian opposition with a view to achieve stability in the country.

    "The countries supporting [Syrian President Bashar] Assad have to navigate between negotiating with him and exerting pressure on him," the official added.

    The Turkish armed forces are currently engaged in a military operation in northern Syria that aims to liberate the area from Kurdish armed groups. Damascus has firmly condemned the operation as an assault on Syria's sovereignty.


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