Turkey says world must support Syrian people

Russian president tells Erdogan that search for a way to end bloodshed should continue, but foreign intervention not an option.

By REUTERS
February 8, 2012 18:45
1 minute read.
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu

Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

 
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The international community must send a strong message of support to the Syrian people and send aid to residents of the city of Homs, under artillery attack by the Syrian military, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Reuters Wednesday.

He said Turkey was ready to host an international conference to support the Syrian people, and to send a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad to halt an 11-month crackdown on his opponents.

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Davutoglu said that if the UN Security Council fails to protect civilians, then like-minded countries should find ways to end the killing and deliver aid to civilians trapped by military assault, especially those in Homs.

"We definitely want to have this meeting in our region showing concerns and the sensitivities and solidarity and regional ownership, maybe in Turkey, maybe in another country," Davutoglu said in an interview shortly before he was due to leave for the United States for talks on Syria.

"It is not enough being an observer. It is time now to send a strong message to the Syrian people that we are with them."

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Earlier Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about developments in Syria. The Russian president told Erdogan that the search for a way to end bloodshed in Syria should continue, including in the UN Security Council, but that foreign interference was not an option, the Kremlin said.

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In a telephone conversation, Medvedev "underscored the need to continue - including in the UN Security Council - the search for agreed approaches with the aim of fostering the resolution of the crisis by Syrians themselves, without external interference," the Kremlin said in a statement.

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