LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION

POLITICS > Turkish FM calls for ‘big’ Syria effort but West unsure

ISTANBUL

Print Page Send to friend »
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu listens during a TV debate on Syria at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP Photo/Michel Euler

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu listens during a TV debate on Syria at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. AP Photo/Michel Euler

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu criticized the international solution process in Syria in a recent televised interview, calling on prominent actors to intensify efforts.

“I understand the lack of decision making in political matters, but what about humanitarian problems?” Davutoğlu asked, mentioning a previous attempt that had been “turned down at the 21st checkpoint stop.”

“Can’t there be unity in offering help and humanitarian aid?” Davutoğlu asked.

When asked about Russian involvement in the peace process, Davutoğlu repeated the need to leave Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out of the transition process, despite Russian dissent on the matter.
“The Syrian opposition, the neighboring countries and 175 members of the United Nations have agreed to a transition process without al-Assad,” Davutoğlu said. “But what really matters is not what one or five actors agree on, but what the Syrian people really want for themselves.”

Russia wishes to keep al-Assad in power during the transition, but that would cause serious tension, and would jeopardize the security of the other ministers, according to Davutoğlu.

“Can there be a healthy transition process with al-Assad and his system of security still intact?” Davutoğlu asked.

“The world no longer trusts al-Assad. As I’ve said before, the U.N. secretary-general will be apologizing to the people in Aleppo in 10 years, the way Ban Ki-moon apologized for Srebrenica.”

Davutoğlu also said he was concerned about the involvement of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the Syrian conflict due their reported links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Two points of concern are evident for Turkey: the PYD’s support for the Syrian president and possible PYD support of the PKK, Davutoğlu said.

“These issues hamper the legitimacy of the PYD in the Syrian conflict,” Davutoğlu said.

Arbil support against terror

Davutoğlu also spoke about regional dynamics, saying Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani supported Turkey in its fight against the PKK.

“The problem has multiple dimensions, one of which is neighboring countries, especially northern Iraq,” Davutoğlu said. “Barzani has already voiced support for Turkey.”

Terrorism in Turkey is now being tackled by a “strong political will,” with all political parties owning up to the issue in unity, the minister said.

“Turkey is now a giant on the rise,” Davutoğlu said. “There will be those who wish to put shackles around the giant’s feet.”

‘The West solution has not happened’

Russia wishes to keep al-Assad in power during the transition, but that would cause serious tension and would jeopardize the security of the other ministers, according to Davutoğlu.

“The world no longer trusts al-Assad. As I’ve said before, the U.N. secretary-general will be apologizing to the people in Aleppo in 10 years, the way Ban Ki-moon apologized for Srebrenica.”

There was no sign the Syrian crisis was going to be resolved anytime soon, the French foreign minister said Jan. 24, in contrast to his prediction last month that the end was near for President al-Assad.

“Things are not moving. The solution that we had hoped for, and by that I mean the fall of Bashar [al-Assad] and the arrival of the coalition to power, has not happened,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in his annual New Year’s address to the press, Reuters reported.

Fabius said in December that “the end is nearing” for al-Assad.Commenting on the crisis, U.S. President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of state, John Kerry, said he was not optimistic on reaching a compromise with Russia over the Syrian crisis when he addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 24.

Kerry said there was a moment when Syria reached out to the West but that the moment had long passed. “History caught up to us. That never happened. And it’s now moot, because [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] has made a set of judgments that are inexcusable, that are reprehensible, and I think [he] is not long for remaining as the head of state in Syria,” the senator said. “I think the time is ticking.”

Senator John McCain, a leading Republican and a fierce critic of Obama’s policy on Syria, said the status quo is unacceptable. “We can do a lot more without putting American boots on the ground,” McCain said. “Otherwise, we will be judged harshly by history.”

Kerry said the United States must find a way to work with Russia but he is not optimistic about the U.S.-Russian relationship. “I don’t want inquisitiveness or curiosity about what possibilities might exist with the Russians to be translated into optimism. I don’t have optimism. I have hope.”

January/25/2013

PRINTER FRIENDLY Send to friend »

MOST POPULAR

AcerPro S.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency