Saturday, October 31

Turkish Premier calls for strong international stance on Syria crisis

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ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the international community on Sunday to take a resolute stance to stop bloodshed in Syria, adding that the UN and Arab League resolutions provided a blueprint to end the Syrian crisis, Turkey’s Anadolu (AA) news agency reported.

“The international community should take a committed position on the Syrian crisis. UN and Arab League resolutions offer a clear road map on how to end the crisis,” Erdogan told a conference meeting of the Friends of Syrian People in Istanbul.

Erdogan said Turkey favoured that a peace plan by UN-Arab League Joint Envoy Kofi Annan to yield a positive outcome. However, he warned that due to Assad regime’s poor performance in the past in honouring pledges, Damascus might not use the Annan plan.

“The Syrian regime should not be allowed to manipulate this plan to gain time. This regime has never kept its promises,” he said.

“It would be inevitable for the Security Council to assume responsibility and say ‘stop’ the massacre in Syria if the Syrian regime fails to cooperate, and if the Security Council denies this responsibility then the international community will have to support the Syrian people’s right to self defence,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan said there was an urgent need to devise functional ways to provide uninterrupted humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, adding any peace initiative with ineffective monitoring mechanisms and a clear time frame for a political transition would encourage the Syrian regime for more violence.

“The message we give today should be clear: We will not support any plan that would prolong the regime’s hold to power,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan also called for “unity in action” which he said should complement “a unity in voice,” adding that Turkey had faith in the Syrian National Council “which is the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and its drive and ability to build a democratic Syria.”

Erdogan also said Turkey had no intentions to meddle in the internal affairs of any country, adding that his country sought no political gain from “the sufferings of its neighbours.” –BERNAMA