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POLITICS > Turkey cautiously welcomes US-Russian deal on Syria

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In this Sept. 5, 2013 pool-file photo, President Barack Obama shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. AP photo

In this Sept. 5, 2013 pool-file photo, President Barack Obama shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. AP photo

Turkey has voiced a skeptical optimism after the United States and Russia agreed on a plan to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons by the middle of 2014.

“Turkey welcomes, as a matter of principle, the dismantling of all weapons of mass destruction in the world and in our region, the chemical weapons in particular. Therefore, the agreement reached today in Geneva between the United States and the Russian Federation regarding the chemical weapons possessed by the Syrian regime was welcomed as a positive step and assessed carefully,” a written statement from the Foreign Ministry said Sept. 14.

After three days of talks in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded that al-Assad account for his secret stockpile within a week and let international inspectors eliminate all the weapons by the middle of next year.

Warning on exploitation

The Turkish statement said the agreement should not turn into a process whereby regime forces would buy time for new massacres.

“This agreement must not be exploited by the Syrian regime and must not turn into a process by which the regime would gain time to carry out new massacres against its people. The announced timeframe is lengthy and susceptible to the exploitation of the regime. The sanctions that will be imposed if the regime does not rapidly and strictly fulfill its obligations and the agreement comes to naught should be spelt out clearly from the start,” it said.

The accord leaves major questions unanswered, including how feasible such a major disarmament can be in the midst of civil war, and at what point Washington might yet make good on a continued threat to attack if it thinks al-Assad is reneging.

“This agreement should not be perceived as the final solution to the Syrian crisis, and the massacres committed by the regime without resorting to chemical weapons must absolutely be prevented,” the statement said. “The ultimate goal in Syria must be to end the crimes against humanity that have been perpetrated in this country by the regime over nearly three years, to fulfill the legitimate demands of the population and to enable the people of Syria to establish a legitimate administration.”

September/15/2013

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ilker avni

9/15/2013 11:21:23 PM

America is acting in Israels interest,1000 tons of chemical weapons aimed at Israel will disapear,leaveing Assad to carry on with his war on his people,maybe it was the threat of attack on Israel by Syrian minister Ali Haidar who warned that Israel will be among Syrias prime targets in case of US attack.

K M

9/15/2013 10:36:55 PM

Let's see, who was it who was telling us early in the summer that Geneva talks were unacceptable? Same guys complaining about buying time now and wanting other armies to fight their battles.

Jim Phipps

9/15/2013 5:49:27 PM

My bet is that this deal like every other deal has a slim chance of success and a stable Syria for many reasons.

A European

9/15/2013 1:21:03 PM

Nobody cares what Turkey thinks anyway. As if Russia and the US care! Turkey the so called 'Regional Power' has humiliated itself. In comes the West to save Turkey, yet again.

american american

9/15/2013 12:49:30 PM

just as everything coming out of erdogan and davutoglu's mouths. use your conscripts and non-existent airforce and your syrian brothers

Tayyar Abi

9/15/2013 12:25:03 PM

That agreement is a pile of cowardly crap.
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