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Turkey accepts Syrian president's stay in power temporarily

ISTANBUL, Aug 20 (KUNA) -- Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday that Turkey would accept keeping Bashar Al-Assad as temporary president for Syria "but not as a party in shaping up" the country's future.
Yildirim, during a gathering with journalists, indicated that Ankara was ready to cooperate with Russia, Iran and other nations for reaching a settlement to the Syrian crisis.
Turkey will not allow Syria's partition, he said, adding that Al-Assad's regime has started to fathom that "the entity being built by the Kurds in northern Syria would pose a threat to Damascus in the future." His remarks in this respect coincided with fresh reports indicating that the Syrian regime warplanes bombed Kurdish strongholds in the northern region of Al-Hasaka.
The Kurds have recently succeeded in driving Islamic State militants out of several areas in the north, including the town of Minbij.
Turkey eyes the Kurds' control expansion in northern Syria with deep concern, fearing full-scale upsurge by the Kurds in southeastern Turkey.
The Kurds have repeatedly spoken of their aspiration to carve out a state, comprising border areas of Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. (end) ta.rk