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No role for Assad in Syria's future, Turkish, US leaders reiterate

Turkish FM echoes Erdogan's comments, saying an Assad run in any future election in Syria is 'not an option'
Bashar al-Assad on 28 April 2014 in Damascus, Syria (AFP)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will never have a role in his country’s future, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday at the closing of the G20 summit.

“Assad, who has been slaughtering his own people, has no place in the future of Syria and never will have,” the Turkish president said at a news conference in Belek, southern Turkey.

Erdogan's comments were echoed by Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu who said on Monday that Assad standing in any elections in Syria was "not an option". 

On the final day of the summit, Erdogan listed the priorities for a post-conflict Syria as preserving the country’s integrity; wiping out terrorism; and establishing a democratic and legitimate political structure.

“These regional issues - mainly refugees and terrorism - cannot be resolved unless a solution is agreed that will be accepted by all who live in Syria,” Erdogan said.

He called for effective international cooperation to resolve the war, one of the main topics at this year’s G20 meeting in Turkey’s Antalya province.

Last last month, a Russian lawmaker, who had just met Assad in Damascus, said the Syrian president was willing to hold parliamentary and presidential elections.

Alexander Yushchenko said Assad planned to run in the polls himself "if the people are not against it". 

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama on Monday reiterated that there is no role for Assad in the future of the country, after high-level talks between world powers including Russia in Vienna.

"We have begun to see some modest progress on the diplomatic front, which is critical," Obama told reporters after attending the G20 summit in Turkey. "The Vienna talks mark the first time that all the key countries have come together ... and reached a common understanding."