President Gül gives Annan plan a chance
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Riyadh Governor Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz (C) accompanies Erdoğan. AFP photoUnited Nations and Arab League special envoy on Syria Kofi Annan is a great opportunity for Syria and its government, said President Abdullah Gül April 13, while the Turkish prime minister remained skeptical of Syria’s promises.
If Annan’s plan is a success, it would be great for everyone, Gül said when receiving the Libyan ambassador to Turkey at the Presidential Palace. “It is a great opportunity for Syria and those who govern Syria, maybe it is the last opportunity,” he said, adding that it is necessary to make good use of this process.
Erdoğan skeptical of Syria’s commitment
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 12 he did not believe Syria was implementing the Annan plan. Turkey supported Annan since the beginning and will continue to support him, Erdoğan said, speaking to reporters at a joint press conference with Bangladeshi Premier Sheikh Hasina Wajed in Ankara. “In order to get a result in Syria, the tanks must be withdrawn from cities,” Erdoğan said.
“The Syrian administration has not given confidence to its people. The Syrian people demand the ballot box. Whoever wins the elections will be respected by the international community.” Erdoğan briefly touched on Turkey’s interest in seeing peace develop in Syria after a recent border violation near refugee camps. “We are a country that experienced a border violation by Syria. More than 25,000 Syrians are currently staying in Syria. Mr. Annan visited the camps in Turkey where Syrians are staying.
Annan listened to the people at the camps. No one can ask us why we talk so much on Syria,” Erdoğan said. “We will continue to work on the issue of Syria. What we want is to see peace prevail in Syria. We want to see the demands of the Syrian people met.”