It is impossible to bring peace to Syria as long as regime leader Bashar al Assad is around, says Turkey's President.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi shake hands before a meeting in Tunisia, Wednesday, December 27, 2017.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi shake hands before a meeting in Tunisia, Wednesday, December 27, 2017. (AP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday reiterated that there was no place for Bashar al Assad in the future of Syria.

"Assad is definitely a terrorist who has carried out state terrorism," Erdogan said on Wednesday at a televised news conference with his Tunisian counterpart Beji Caid Essebsi in Tunisia.

"It is impossible to continue with Assad,” he said.

“How can we embrace the future with a Syrian president who has killed close to a million of his own citizens? Would the Syrian people accept someone like him as a leader?”

Erdogan further added that peace would not come to Syria with Bashar al Assad as its leader.

TRT World's Kim Vinnell followed the president's tour and has the latest from Tunis.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN officials.

Developing bilateral ties with Tunisia

Turkey's president was ending a four-day Africa trip on Wednesday with a visit to Tunisia that focused on improving economic ties.

At a joint news conference, Erdogan and Essebsi said their nations would never accept changes to Jerusalem's historic status after President Donald Trump's recognition of the city as Israel's capital.

"Jerusalem is our red line. Any steps against Jerusalem's historic status and holiness are unacceptable," Erdogan said. 

Turkey would work toward international recognition of the Palestinian state and seek the support of the European Union, he said. 

He also vowed to help support Tunisia overcome economic hardships and combat terrorism. 

Erdogan, who also was attending a Turkish-Tunisian economic forum, was accompanied by a delegation of nine ministers and 200 businessmen.

He earlier visited Sudan and Chad, where he signed military and economic deals.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies