Gul: Global response to Syria limited to rhetoric

Turkish president says int'l contribution "only symbolic."

May 16, 2013 15:03
1 minute read.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

Turkey President Abdullah Gul flag 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Olivia Harris )

REYHANLI, Turkey - Turkey's President Abdullah Gul criticized the world's response to the Syria conflict on Thursday as limited to "rhetoric", saying his country had received little help in coping with a huge influx of Syrian refugees.

"The international community's contribution to Turkey's financial aid to these people who are in a difficult situation is only symbolic," Gul told reporters in the border town of Reyhanli where car bombs killed 51 people at the weekend.

Apart from hosting about 400,000 Syrian refugees, Turkey strongly backs the uprising against President Bashar Assad, but the Reyhanli bombings have increased fears of spillover from the two-year-old civil war in its southern neighbour.

Damascus has denied Turkish allegations it was involved in the blasts.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was due to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington later in the day, with Syria expected to be high on their agenda.

"From the very start the international community has only used rhetoric and heroism in their approach to the Syrian problem," Gul said.

Big-power divisions have paralyzed United Nations action on Syria, but the United States and Russia are now trying to bring the warring parties to a peace conference next month.

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