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INTERNATIONAL > Turkey, US mull action on Syria

ISTANBUL - The Associated Press

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Turkey and the U.S. will set up a working group to respond to the crisis in Syria, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after their meeting on Aug. 11.

The group will coordinate military, intelligence and political responses to the potential fallout in the case of a chemical attack, which would result in medical emergencies and a likely rise in the number of refugees fleeing Syria they said. “We have been closely coordinating over the course of this conflict, but now we need to get into the real details of such operational planning,” Clinton said.

The U.S. State Department and Turkey’s Foreign Ministry had already been working together on the issue, but the new working group would increase the involvement of the intelligence services and militaries of both countries, she said.

Among the contingencies that the U.S. and Turkey agree on the need to plan for is “the horrible event” that chemical weapons are used, Clinton said. “What would that mean in terms of response, humanitarian and medical emergency assistance and, of course, what needs to be done to secure those stocks from ever being used,” Clinton said.

August/13/2012

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