Turkish FM invites Kofi Annan to visit Syrians
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
UN-Arab peace envoy Annan (L) and Turkish PM Erdoğan shake hands before a meeting in Ankara March 12. AP photoForeign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has invited Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League joint envoy for Syria, to visit Syrian refugee camps in Turkey in a telephone call about the accelerating influx of Syrians.
In a telephone call on April 7, the minister informed Annan about the current situation at the Turkish-Syrian border, saying the number of Syrian citizens who fled into Turkey had reached 24,552, according to diplomatic sources.
The minister told Annan that the Syrian administration’s latest statements and words were made in an effort to gain time.
Upon Davutoğlu’s invitation, Annan said he wanted to meet with Syrian citizens living in Turkey at the earliest opportunity. The envoy visited Turkey last month for meetings with Turkish officials as well as the Syrian opposition based in Turkey, but his tight schedule prevented him from seeing the refugee camps near the border.
UN: Ready to assist Turkey on Syrian refugees
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres called Davutoğlu and said they were ready to assist Turkey with regard to the Syrians.
The call came after Davutoğlu’s conversation with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on April 6 over the massive influx of refugees into Turkey. In his discussion with Ban, Davutoğlu asked for more U.N. effort on the refugee issue. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged Annan to keep “a very tight grip” on the situation in Syria and watch the developments ahead of the April 10 deadline for al-Assad closely. Erdoğan said on April 7, “We will implement steps” if the violence does not stop after that, without specifying what measures his government would take.