Turkish stance on Assad has never changed: Deputy PM

US pastor faces terror charges in fraught trial in Turkey

US pastor faces terror charges in fraught trial in Turkey

Turkey on Monday made a point of distinguishing between its own policies in the Middle East and those of Iran, Russia and the United States.

The main reason for the use of chemical weapons in Syria is related to the fact that the world community didn't apply tough sanctions against the Assad regime at the time, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said, Turkish media reported April 16.

Acting U.S. Secretary of State John Sullivan briefed Turkey's Foreign Undersecretary Umit Yalcin over the phone on Friday on the latest developments in Syria. "There is no change to the policy Turkey has been carrying out", Mr Bozdag told reporters.

Cavusoglu recalled Turkey's stance against Assad saying it had not changed since the beginning of the Syrian war.

Also, Rex Tillerson, former secretary of state, told Erdogan in February that USA prosecutors had dropped charges against most members of his security detail who had been accused on playing a role in beating protesters a year ago, the Wall Street Journal said.

Despite Turkey's cooperation with the likes of Russian Federation and Iran - Mr Assad's main supporters - to abate Syria's ongoing war, Ankara has been vocal about wanting to see the president gone and has even backed rebels against him.

On Monday three Turkish soldiers in southeast Turkey were killed by PKK fighters in a military base in Sirnak province according to security forces.

Mr Bozdag said Turkey did not hesitate to work together with any country who defended "correct principles" on Syria.

While Turkey has repeatedly called for Assad's ouster, it has been working closely with regime allies Tehran and Moscow in the Astana peace process, albeit with only moderate success.

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