September 22, 2012 - 08:23 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have engaged in a war of words over the 18-month long crisis in Syria, with both sides accusing each other in separate interviews, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
“Bashar is politically dead. Of course, it is difficult to tell whether this [his departure] will take place in a week, a month or when. This also has to do with how Russia and China approach the situation,” Erdoğan told the Washington Post in an interview, when asked about the fate of the embattled leader.
“We see that they [Russia and China] also believe that al-Assad will go. The question they ask is what happens after al-Assad? My answer to them is that if we believe in a democratic parliamentary system, then the will of the people will be what will come to pass.”
In Damascus, the Syrian president put the blame on Ankara, saying the Turkish government was unconcerned “about the interests of its people, focusing solely on its ambitions, including a new Ottoman empire,” in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram al-Arabi. He also hit out at Saudi Arabia and Qatar, accusing them of arming Syrian rebels but insisting that they will not win.
“They suddenly saw money in their hands after a long period of poverty and think they can buy history and play a regional role,” Assad said. “The widespread idea that Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt are the cornerstone of stability in the region is false. It has always been, and will remain, Syria, Iraq and Egypt.”