MIDEAST >Assad aims to ‘distract’ attention ahead of meet

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency

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FM Ahmet Davutoğlu (R) is seen with US Secretary of State during a visit to Turkey.

FM Ahmet Davutoğlu (R) is seen with US Secretary of State during a visit to Turkey.

Ankara has played down the significance of remarks by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who blamed the Turkish government on Aug. 29 for violence in the uprising in the country, in which thousands have died.

“Turkey bears direct responsibility for the blood being shed in Syria,” al-Assad had told the local television channel Addounia. However, in Ankara, Turkish officials sounded cool yesterday while speaking with the Hürriyet Daily News. “Al-Assad is basically trying to distract attention,” a Turkish diplomat, speaking under condition of anonymity, said.

“He is trying to spread political propaganda ahead of today’s [Thursday] U.N. gathering,” the same diplomat said, referring to a New York ministerial meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the growing humanitarian crisis in neighboring Syria. “What’s more, we are not in a position to scold al-Assad whenever he says these kinds of delirious statements with ulterior motives,” the diplomat also said.

During the meeting, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was also scheduled to submit a presentation on the current situation of events in Syria and the growing refugee problem. The meeting was slated to gather the foreign ministers of 15 permanent and non-permanent Security Council countries and Syria’s neighbors to examine the growing refugee problem in depth.


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