FM continues Syria diplomacy at UN
UNITED NATIONS - Anatolia News Agency
FM Davutoğlu (L) and his US counterpart Clinton talk ways to strengthen the Syrian opposition. AA photoForeign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu met separately with his U.S. counterpart and the Iranian president over the Syrian crisis on the sidelines of U.N. General Assembly meetings on Sept. 26 in an effort to find ways to end the 18-month long impasse.
Diplomatic sources said Davutoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed Syria, NATO, Iraq, Turkish-Israeli relations and an anti-Muslim movie that has rocked the Muslim world. They exchanged views on ways to strengthen the Syrian opposition.
Davutoğlu informed Clinton about the situation of Syrians who had fled clashes in their country and are currently staying in Turkey. They agreed that the international community should be more active on the matter, diplomatic sources said.
They also agreed on the importance of meetings held by a joint working group between Turkey and the United States and reiterated that the al-Assad regime must end its “ruthless” campaign against its people. Clinton repeated the views of the United States in regard to the normalization of Turkish-Israeli relations. Davutoğlu said Turkey’s demands on the issue were already known.
On the anti-Muslim movie, Clinton thanked Davutoğlu for the government’s statements regarding attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in the region, saying that Turkey had assumed a clear stance on it from the very beginning.
Davutoğlu also met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and urged him to use his influence to help bring pressure on the al-Assad regime to end the crisis in Syria.
The foreign minister met with Ahmadinejad at the request of the Iranian side, sources said. The Turkish foreign minister told the Iranian leader that a recent meeting of Turkish, Iranian and Egyptian officials in Cairo was of great importance to build up pressure on the al-Assad regime. Davutoğlu also conveyed Turkey’s unease over recent remarks by senior Iranian authorities as Ahmadinejad said the remarks did not reflect the official Iranian position. Sources said both sides had reaffirmed that the cooperation between Turkey and Iran was of utmost importance as Davutoğlu conveyed Turkey’s expectations from Iran on combating terrorism.