Turkey PM says no support for Syria regime to stay in power
ISTANBUL - Agence France-PresseTurkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today Ankara would not back any plan that would help the regime in Damascus to stay in power.
"It is not possible for us to support any plan that would help stay in power a regime that oppresses its own people," Erdoğan said at the opening of the Friends of Syria conference in Istanbul.
Turkey PM urges support for Syrians right to self-defence
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also called on the international community y to support Syrians' right to self-defence if the United Nations failed to act to stop a bloody crackdown on protests by Damascus.
"If United Nations Security Council refrains from taking on the responsbility, the international community will have no chance but to accept Syrians' right to self-defence," Erdoğan said at the opening of the Friends of Syria conference in Istanbul.
The second "Friends of Syria" conference opened with more than 80 representatives attending to discuss ways to ensure that the government of President Bashar al-Assad implements a plan by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
Erdoğan hoped Annan's plan would bring results but he said "it is probable that the Syrian administration which gave promises both to us (Turkey) and to the international community will use Annan's initiative as an attempt to buy time." Annan's plan calls for an end to the violence, a daily two-hour humanitarian ceasefire and access to all areas affected by the fighting in Syria, as well as an inclusive Syrian-led political process, a right to demonstrate, and the release of those detained.
Annan is not attending the conference and Russia and China, Damascus's two remaining major allies, have also opted out.
Turkey, the conference host that has given refuge to more than 18,000 Syrians on its soil, has broken its former alliance with Syria and called on Assad to quit.