ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey's prime minister says he wishes that Syrian President Bashar Assad stayed in Moscow longer to give his people "relief" and start the political transition.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke Wednesday in response to journalists' questions about Assad's visit to Moscow a day earlier. It was the Syrian leader's first known trip abroad since the war broke out in 2011.
Davutoglu said: "If only he could stay in Moscow longer, to give the people of Syria some relief; in fact he should stay there so the transition can begin."
Davutoglu also reiterated Turkey's position that Assad should have no role in Syria's future, insisting that efforts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis should focus "not on a transition with Assad, but on formulas for Assad's departure."