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POLITICS > Annan to visit Syrian refugees in Turkey Tuesday: diplomat

ANKARA - Agence France- Presse

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United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan gestures as he leaves on April 4, 2012 the United Nations offices in Geneva.  AFP Photo

United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan gestures as he leaves on April 4, 2012 the United Nations offices in Geneva. AFP Photo

The international mediator for Syria, Kofi Annan, was due in Turkey Tuesday for a visit to Syrian refugee camps near the border, a Turkish diplomatic source said Monday.

"The visit will only last a few hours, ahead of Annan's trip to Iran," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The former UN chief is expected in Tehran on Wednesday.

Around 25,000 Syrian refugees are currently housed in camps in Turkey's three provinces bordering Syria, where civilians have been fleeing the government's deadly repression of pro-democracy protests for more than a year.

Annan, the top mediator for the United Nations and the Arab League, has brokered a deal whereby Syrian troops should withdraw from protest cities by Tuesday, with a complete end to fighting set for 48 hours later.

US senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, who are due to hold talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Ankara Monday, are also expected to visit refugees in the Hatay province on Tuesday, the diplomatic source said.

April/09/2012

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