Assad sends Davotuglu away empty-handed
Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutogluleft Damascus empty handed after six hours of talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad Tuesday, Aug. 9. Half the meeting was a tête a tête without advisers. In response to the pressing Turkish demand to end the bloodshed, Assad indicated the military operation against the protesters would soon be over, but refused to commit to a deadline, explaining that this was up to the rebels – not him or the Syrian army.
The Syrian ruler likewise refused to promise to enter into dialogue with the opposition. "They don't want to talk to me," said Assad. "They want my head. So long as they don't lay down their arms, there is nothing to discuss."
After Davutoglu flew out, the Syrian government published a statement pledging "not to relent in its pursuit of terrorists."
Upon returning to Ankara, the Turkish foreign minister told the media to Ankara that his government would continue to keep a close watch on events in Syria – a far cry, debkafile notes, from the harsh words of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan before the Davutoglu's mission to Damascus, when he said Turkish patience with Syrian brutality was running out and if he carried on, Assad would suffer the same fate of the Libyan ruler (i.e. NATO military intervention in his country).
It remains to be seen if Erdogan makes good on his ultimatum ot use force unless Assad ends his bloody military savage crackdown on protest.