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INTERNATIONAL > Turkey proposes to Russia new Syria plan: report

ANKARA - Agence France-Press

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin speak to each other at a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. AP photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin speak to each other at a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. AP photo

Turkey has made a new proposal to Russia for an orderly peaceful transition in war-ravaged Syria in the post-regime era, a Turkish newspaper reported on Monday.

The proposal calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step down in the first three months of 2013 and for the transition process to be undertaken by the opposition National Coalition, which was recognised as the sole representative of Syrians by Arab and Western states last week, the Radikal newspaper reported.

The plan was discussed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on December 3 and Putin reportedly considered it a "creative formula," according to Radikal. Turkey, once an ally of the Damascus regime, has become a fierce critic of the bloody crackdown on a rebellion that has turned into civil war.

For its part Russia has been one of Assad's few allies, routinely blocking resolutions against his regime at the UN Security Council.
 
While Erdogan and Putin agreed to disagree on Syria during their talks this month, Putin has said that Russia's leaders were not "inveterate defenders" of the current regime in Syria.
 
Ankara, which has been tightlipped on the new proposal, is seeking to deprive Assad of Russian and Iranian support, according to the Radikal newspaper.
 
The plan is likely to be turned down by Assad but it might change the course of the 21-month conflict due to the international community's support, Radikal said, noting that the United States, Egypt, Qatar, Russia and the United Nations have been debating the Ankara-led proposal over the past 10 days.
 
During a visit to Turkey on December 7, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said that he has "taken note" of the Istanbul summit where Putin and Erdogan discussed "new ideas" on how to respond to the Syrian crisis.
 
Ban told reporters in Ankara that he hoped that the new strategies would be very closely coordinated with UN peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, so that there would be a consensus of views among the international community.

December/17/2012

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Blue Dotterel

12/17/2012 9:04:48 PM

Dennis, Assad's Syria is a secular and tolerant state. This is why Assad is being supported even by the majority of Sunnis in Syria (the military is also made up mostly of Sunnis). The "rebels" are Sunni fanatics, supported by Sunni Muslim states and NATO, particularly the US. The purpose is the old imperialist one of divide and conquer. As in Iraq, the West intended a sectarian struggle to topple Assad. It hasn't worked, so now NATO has to find a way to go in and do the job itself.

Omar George Ali

12/17/2012 6:41:16 PM

Neo-Ottoman ErDOGan is executing his masters’ agenda in Syria. The Syrian Arab Republic has been a secular state for the last 60 years and has been a defender for the Arab cause: “Palestine”. On the other hand, Ottoman Turkey has been carrying out join military exercises with Israel. Neo-Ottoman ErDOGan wasn’t to re-live his Ottoman ancestors’ dream in Syria. Whereas Turkey claims to be entitled to attack Kurdish targets inside Iraq, Syria can’t attack “FSA” targets inside Turkey. Hypocrisy.

mara mcglothin

12/17/2012 4:52:47 PM

What business is it of Russia and Turkey? or anyone else for that matter? This is up to the Syrians. Simple.

Dennis Kavaz

12/17/2012 3:41:41 PM

Mr. Assad for some time now, it has been a stir that the Syrian President Assad and his regime (due to being Alevis) the Sunni nations Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are against them; Still it’s confusing the Alevis are not the largest community in Syria, yet the Assad family have been the Syrian rulers for 45 years; even so Mr. Assad is doing his best to destroy every one in Syria including the Alevis nonetheless.

Vargen Vargen

12/17/2012 2:41:13 PM

What are the two talking about? Erdogan can only speak Turkish and Putin does not speak Turkish. Must be a very peculiar discussion........

Blue Dotterel

12/17/2012 1:19:54 PM

Interesting piece of propaganda. Putin is hardly a fierce critic of Assad. Giving the illegitimate NATO appointed "National Council" the ability to oversee a transition period when it is not even supported by the "rebels" on the ground seems a bit of a non-starter. In Assad would do a much better job of overseeing Syria's transition to democracy. Look at how well the US and its allies have overseen the transition to "democracy" in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya.
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