“One must read between the lines in his speech. He should say loud and strong in a clear-cut manner: ... 'We are passing to a pluralist system, we will organise democratic elections that conform to international standards,'” Anatolia quoted Gul as telling journalists. - Reuters (File Photo)

ANKARA: Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Monday that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad should have been more “clear-cut” in promises of reform during a speech Monday, Anatolia news agency reported.

“One must read between the lines in his speech. He should say loud and strong in a clear-cut manner: ... 'We are passing to a pluralist system, we will organise democratic elections that conform to international standards,'” Anatolia quoted Gul as telling journalists.

“As soon as the Syrian president says that he will lead the transition in his country, we will see that things will change,” Gul added.

In the speech, Assad said talks could lead to a new constitution and even end his Baath party's monopoly on power, but he refused to reform Syria under “chaos”.

More than 10,000 Syrians have found shelter from the unrest in their homeland in camps in neighbouring Turkey, while thousands more were in a no-man's land, hesitating to cross into Turkey.

Turkey has said it would keep its borders open to Syrians fleeing the violence and supply humanitarian aid to the thousands on the other side of the line.

Many come from Jisr al-Shughur, a flashpoint of the anti-government uprising 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Turkish border that was pounded by Syrian regime troops.

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