Turkey calls for int’l conference on Syria
A member of the Free Syrian Army which tries to expand its fight against President al-Assad’s Damascus regime aims during weapons training outside Idlib, Syria. AP photo
Turkey plans to hold an international conference on Syria with regional players and world powers to increase pressure on Syria.
“Countries that are concerned with the situation in Syria have to find a solution. We are determined to establish a broad-based forum,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in a televised interview yesterday.
The conference should take place as soon as possible with “broad scale participation” of international actors, the minister said.
The conference could take place in Turkey or another country, but it must certainly be in a regional country, he added. The minister said Turkey’s attempt came after a series of international efforts such as the United Nations Security Council resolution draft on Syria that failed by vetoes of Russia and China.
“We can’t leave Syria on its own destiny,” he said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was expected to discuss the Syrian crisis with Medvedev in a telephone call later today, Davutoğlu said. “And then we’ll create a new road map,” he added.
Davutoğlu was expected to fly to the United States late yesterday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for further discussions on the Syrian crisis.
Drawing a parallel with the process of the coalition led by France in Libya before the fall of the Gadhafi regime and Turkey’s initiative on Syria would lead to a wrong perception, the minister said.
Davutoğlu said Syria could not use the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) card against Turkey. “We can’t allow a country [Syria] that cannot control the Zabadani region to play the terror card against us. We won’t remain silent if it happens,” the minister said.
Davutoğlu also said 11 Iranian citizens, who were kidnapped by opposition in Syria and released by the mediation of Turkey, were brought to Turkey. “I’d like to convey this as a message to Iranian people,” he said.
Damascus Radio claimed 49 intelligence officers were detained in Syria. Gürcan Balık, special adviser to Foreign Minister Davutoğlu, denied the claims on his Twitter account. “Those allegations are totally untrue,” Balık said.