No solution to Syria while Assad remains, says Turkish premier

No solution to Syria while Assad remains, says Turkish premier
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warns that there can be no solution to the Syrian conflict while President Bashar Assad remains in charge. (AFP / ADEM ALTAN)
Updated 15 July 2016

No solution to Syria while Assad remains, says Turkish premier

No solution to Syria while Assad remains, says Turkish premier

ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has warned there can be no solution to the Syrian conflict or the threat from radicals while President Bashar Assad remains in charge.
In recent days, Yildirim has repeatedly said Turkey would seek good relations with Syria after diplomatic successes with Israel and Russia, raising speculation of a possible change in Turkish policy.
However in an interview with the BBC broadcast late on Wednesday, Yildirim said Assad had to go because with him in charge, the conflict would not be solved.
“On one hand, there’s Assad and on the other, Daesh. If you ask, should we prefer Assad or Daesh, we cannot choose one over the other. They both have to go — they’re both trouble for Syrians,” he said.
“Let’s imagine we got rid of Daesh, the problem still won’t be solved. As long as Assad is there, the problem won’t be solved. Another terrorist organization would emerge.”
He accused the Assad regime of creating Daesh through its policy of killing its own citizens deliberately.
Meanwhile, Assad said in an interview released Thursday that his Russian ally has “never” discussed a political transition with him, despite international support for such a process.
Speaking to NBC News in Damascus, the embattled leader insisted his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had never raised the issue of his departure or a political transition with him.
“Only the Syrian people define who’s going to be the president, when to come, and when to go. They never said a single word regarding this,” he said.


Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs
This picture shows the Dome of the Rock at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Jerusalem's Old City on July 27, 2018, after the site was reopened. (AFP)
Updated 35 min 38 sec ago

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs
  • Council set to denounce action that is ‘violation of understandings’

AMMAN: Israeli police have stopped workers from the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf from renovating the Dome of the Rock for two consecutive days, raising tensions in the old city.

Azzam Khatib, director of the Jordanian Waqf department in Jerusalem, informed Jordan’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv Ghassan Majali and Minister of Waqf in Amman Mohammed Khalaileh of the news.

Israeli officials claim the decision was made after an individual tried to renovate the ceiling of the Bab Al-Rahmeh mosque, which Israel has demanded Muslims to vacate, without reason.

The Jerusalem Waqf Council is expected to issue a strong statement denouncing the Israeli action, calling it a violation of understandings.

Bassam Hallaq, the Waqf engineer in charge of the renovation, said that Israeli police stopped work on the gold-plated Dome of the Rock on Saturday and Sunday, and prevented urgent electric work, too.

Israel insists that any renovation or repair must be pre-approved. The renovation is not structural.

Arab News has learned that the Israeli actions on Saturday and Sunday followed the efforts of an unknown Palestinian whose face was covered, who climbed the roof of the Bab Al-Rahmeh mosque in order to apply cement to stop leaks.

Israel has forbidden any repair work on the mosque.

Hallaq said that all repair work in the entire Al-Aqsa compound has also been suspended by Israel.

The mosque’s engineer insists that the Waqf has no cement materials inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and that Friday was a holiday when staff did not work.

Sheikh Omar Kisswani, director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, told reporters that repairs to the entire 144 dunum Haram Al-Sharif/Al-Aqsa mosque compound were the right of the Islamic Waqf and that the Israeli police have no right to interfere in their work.

A spokesman for the Israeli police told Arab News that the “subject isn’t under the responsibility of the Israeli police.”