Turkish foreign minister recalls Srebrenica crimes for Syria killings

Turkish foreign minister recalls Srebrenica crimes for Syria killings

ISTANBUL
Turkish foreign minister recalls Srebrenica crimes for Syria killings

FM Davutoğlu meets with his Italian counterpart Terzi in Istanbul March 3. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the Syrian regime committed crimes against humanity “on a daily basis,” and the U.N. had to take measures to stop it, which could include a possible arms delivery to the opposition.

Davutoğlu spoke on March 3 at a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart, Giulio Terzi. Both ministers criticized Syria for blocking a Red Cross convoy from delivering badly needed aid to a rebellious neighborhood in the central city of Homs.

“The incidents in Syria have turned into army regulars massacring their own people,” Davutoğlu said.

“The regime used live rounds only against protesters previously, now they are shelling civilian neighborhoods indiscriminately with artillery rounds.

That is not acceptable even in case of war,” he said. “The international community must speak louder.”

“The lack of international consensus is giving Syria the courage to continue,” he said. Davutoğlu said not accepting U.N. observers into the country and blocking humanitarian aid constituted as other crimes committed by the regime. “That is why the firmest message should be given to the Syrian regime,” Davutoğlu said.

That message could involve arming the Syrian opposition, Davutoğlu said as reported by daily Hürriyet. “We believe that diplomatic pressure on the Assad regime must be increased,” Terzi said.

“We say this not only from the point of view of the EU. We believe all international institutions must do this.” Both foreign ministers referred to the possibility of a solution modeled on Yemen, where former President Ali Abdullah Saleh handed power to a successor in a move intended to bring peace after more than a year of violent protests against Saleh’s longtime rule. Terzi said Assad had lost legitimacy as a leader and should seek terms to go into exile as Saleh had done. “There must be a change,” he said.

“The Yemen solution is the most practicable.” Davutoğlu also said the scale of the killing matches the bloodshed in the Balkans wars of the 1990s. “The situation in the field seems to resemble Sarajevo, or Srebrenica. This seems to be the way we are heading,” Davutoglu said. On March 2, Davutoğlu met for four hours with Syrian opposition leaders in Istanbul. He said he advised them on what steps they should take, an apparent reference to the failure of the splintered opposition to organize into a cohesive entity.


Compiled from Reuters and AP stories by the Daily News staff.

Turkey, syria, bosnia, srebrenica