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POLITICS > Turkey urges response to 'crime against humanity' in Syria

ANKARA - Reuters

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Aug.27 a poison gas attack in Syria last week which killed hundreds of people constituted a "crime against humanity." DHA photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Aug.27 a poison gas attack in Syria last week which killed hundreds of people constituted a "crime against humanity." DHA photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said a poison gas attack in Syria last week which killed hundreds of people constituted a "crime against humanity," as he is set leave for Saudi Arabia to discuss the regional crisis with Prince Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The United States has faced growing calls for action in response to the August 21 attack. In the most forceful U.S. reaction yet, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday President Barack Obama believed there must be "accountability" for those who used chemical weapons.

Davutoğlu told reporters: "This is a crime against humanity and a crime against humanity should not go unanswered, what needs to be done must be done." He said that like many states, Turkey blamed Bashar al-Assad's government for the attack. "Today, it is clear the international community is faced with a test."

Davutoğlu reiterated that Ankara's priority was for the U.N. Security Council to come to a united stance on Syria. He said previously, however, that Turkey would join any international coalition if such a consensus proved impossible.

Meanwhile, Davutoğlu is set to pay a two-day visit August 27-28 to Saudi Arabia to discuss the ongoing crisis in the region.

The ongoing crisis in Syria and Egypt, as well as Turkey-Saudi Arabia relations, will be on Davutoğlu's agenda during his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Turkey, a NATO member bordering Syria, has emerged as one of Assad's most vocal critics during the two-and-a-half year conflict, sheltering half a million refugees and allowing Syrian rebels to organize on its soil.

Davutoğlu also said he had spoken to Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday to explain Turkey's position, saying that if there was no response to last week's attack it would give a green light for worse violence.

August/27/2013

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