Syria content with Ankara’s border pledge

Syria content with Ankara’s border pledge

Syria’s government yesterday welcomed a pledge by Turkey not to let its territory be used as a springboard for any attacks against its neighbors.

 “We welcome any Turkish statement aiming to preserve good neighborly relations with Syria,” foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi told a news conference broadcast live on state television.

 His statement came after Turkey said it would not let its territory to be used as a springboard for attacks against other countries, in an apparent reference to Syria. Syria’s official news agency SANA reported Tuesday that Syrian border guards had thwarted an attempt by “armed terrorist groups from Turkey” to cross into the country. Syria’s isolation will intensify if Damascus fails to stop killing protesters, the British Foreign Office’s minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, said yesterday. An Arab League peace plan for Syria needs time to work, in the same way that a similar scheme for Yemen eventually bore fruit, Russia said on Wednesday, offering to send observers to Syria if necessary.

“The same kind of patience [toward Yemen], the same kind of responsibility need to be exercised in relation to the realization of the plan of the Arab League in Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. Meanwhile, France’s ambassador to Syria, Eric Chevalier, recalled in mid-November after an escalation of violence there, has returned to his post, foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said yesterday. Ambassador went back to Damascus on Monday, three weeks after his recall to Paris for consultations, Valero said.

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