Our patience over Syria will run out: Turkey

Updated 11 February 2016
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Our patience over Syria will run out: Turkey

ANKARA: Turkey’s patience may run out over the crisis in Syria and it could be forced to take action, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, calling on the United Nations to do more to prevent “ethnic cleansing” in the country.

Erdogan accused the UN of insincerity in calling on Turkey to do more to help Syrian refugees instead of taking action to prevent the bloodshed in its southern neighbor.
Russian war planes have been bombing around the Syrian city of Aleppo in support of a Syrian government offensive to recapture the city, sending tens of thousands of people fleeing to the Turkish border.
“There is a chance the new wave of refugees will reach 600,000 if airstrikes continue. We are making preparations for it,” Erdogan said in a speech to a business forum in Ankara.
“We will show patience up to a point and then we’ll do what’s necessary. Our buses and planes are not waiting there in vain,” he said, adding that Turkey had information that Iran-backed forces in Syria were carrying out “merciless massacres.”
Turkey, already home to more than 2.6 million Syrian refugees, has long pushed for the creation of a safe zone in northern Syria to protect displaced civilians without bringing them over the border into Turkey.
Erdogan said the Syrian crisis could not be resolved without safe zones, and said that ways of keeping Syrians in their country needed to be sought.
He also said he had previously told the European Union’s two top officials, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, that the time could come when Turkey would open the gates for migrants to travel to Europe.
“In the past we have stopped people at the gates to Europe, in Edirne we stopped their buses. This happens once or twice, and then we’ll open the gates and wish them a safe journey, that’s what I said,” he said on Thursday.


Iran seeks assurances on nuclear deal after US pullout

Updated 42 min 14 sec ago
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Iran seeks assurances on nuclear deal after US pullout

  • The nations that remain in the Iran nuclear deal will meet for the first time since US President Donald Trump left the pact
  • The UN atomic watchdog policing the nuclear accord said on Thursday that Iran is still complying with the terms of the deal despite the US withdrawal

VIENNA: Iran wants European powers to give it a package of economic measures by the end of the month to compensate for the US withdrawal from their 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, a senior Iranian official said on Friday.
“We expect the package to be given to us by the end of May,” the official told reporters before talks in Vienna with Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
He added that Tehran would decide within the next few weeks whether to stay in the accord.
The nations that remain in the Iran nuclear deal meet later today for the first time since US President Donald Trump left the pact, but diplomats see limited scope for salvaging it after Washington vowed to be tougher than ever on Tehran.
The UN atomic watchdog policing the nuclear accord said on Thursday that Iran is still complying with the terms of the deal despite the US withdrawal, but that it could be faster and more proactive in allowing snap inspections.
The official said that if they were unhappy with how things panned out they would seek a ministerial meeting and then decide.
“I am personally maybe not optimistic but ... I am trying my best to come to a conclusion,” he said.
He said European measures would need in large part to ensure that oil exports remained the same and that the SWIFT international payments messaging system continued to work for Iran.