Turkey urges Iran to pressure Syria for end to violence



Fulya Ozerkan | AFP

Published — Tuesday 18 December 2012

Last update 19 December 2012 8:44 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

ANKARA: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged Tehran on Tuesday to use its leverage and “send a clear message” to Syria’s embattled regime to stop the violence against its own people.
“Instead of criticizing the (Patriot missile) system, Iran should say stop to the Syrian regime that has been continuously oppressing its own people and provoking Turkey through border violations,” Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara.
“Now is the time for Iran to send these clear messages to the Syrian regime,” he said.
“Today if there is an element in the region that threatens peace, it is the Syrian regime’s aggressive policies.”
His comments came after Iranian political and military officials voiced concerns about NATO’s decision to deploy US-made Patriot missiles along the volatile Syrian-Turkish border in case of an attack emanating from Syria.
Iran’s military chief of staff on Saturday warned Turkey over its plans to deploy the missiles, saying the move was part of a Western plot to “create a world war.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called the planned deployment “provocative” and said it could bring about “uncalculated” results.
“What we expect from Iran is not to make statements on the deployment of a defensive system but to use its leverage and give very clear messages in order to make sure that the oppression stops,” Davutoglu said.
Turkey has turned to its NATO allies for the deployment of Patriot missiles along its border after a series of cross-border shellings including the one in October which killed five Turks.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Monday denounced claims by the head of Iran’s armed forces and said: “We are there to defend and protect Turkey. We have no offensive intention whatsoever.”
Turkey also insists the system is purely defensive.
“Those who closely follow the issue are aware that the Patriot system is for defense and will not operate unless there is any attack (targeting Turkey),” Davutoglu said.
But both Russia and Iran, the most powerful allies of the Assad regime, are opposed to the move, fearing it could spark broader conflict.
Germany, the Netherlands and the United States have agreed to provide the missile batteries, which would come under NATO command.
On Tuesday, around 40 German officers were surveying possible sites in Turkey’s southeast for the deployment.
Relations between Iran, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s main regional ally, and Turkey, a fierce critic of the Damascus regime, have been strained over the 21-month conflict in Syria.
Some Iranian officials have accused Turkey of arming Syrian rebels, charges repeatedly rejected by Ankara.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad canceled a planned Monday visit to Turkey “because of a busy schedule,” his office said amid tensions with Ankara over the deployment of Patriots. He was to have met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Iran has detailed a six-point plan to put an end to the crisis in Syria, calling for an immediate cease-fire and the start of national dialogue between Damascus and rebel forces.
However opposition groups reject any Iranian involvement in the search for a solution, reflecting the view that the US and some Western and Arab countries hold that Tehran is discredited by its unwavering support for Assad.
And Turkey, which pioneered a regional mechanism involving Tehran and Egypt to end the Syrian conflict, backs Tehran’s plan as long as it leads to a solution.
“Turkey backs every initiative which will help stop the bloodshed in Syria and welcomes every effort in this regard,” a Turkish foreign ministry diplomat told AFP, when asked about the Iranian plan.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

ALKHOBAR: A power failure at the King Fahd Causeway on Wednesday night resulted in a massive traffic congestion, even as officials failed to explain the cause of the snag, local media reported.A power outage for 74 minutes on the link between the Kin...
JEDDAH: A female Saudi lawyer was able to get a stay order on a ruling by the general court in Jeddah that awarded custody of a two-year-old girl to her father. She successfully argued to get the court order reversed that gave custody back to the mot...
JEDDAH: The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) said that combating harassment cases is part of its responsibility to promote Islamic values and morals in society.“Those harassing women will be brought to book,” s...
RIYADH: A thick layer of sand covered the city’s skyline on Saturday with a heavy blanket of dust caused by strong winds hampering visibility and creating traffic snarls on busy roads.The traffic department advised motorists to drive slowly and exerc...
JEDDAH: More than 26 million Umrah pilgrims and worshippers visited the Grand Mosque during the month of Ramadan and in the first few days after Eid Al-Fitr, thanks to a smooth transport arrangement under the guidance of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-...
AL-AHSA: An outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) has been discovered in cattle in Al-Ahsa which is an area with many cows. All necessary measures have been taken to protect the livestock, said Mahmoud Al-Shuaibi of the Agriculture Department in Al-Ah...
RIYADH: An architectural masterpiece — the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center (KAHC) — in Riyadh is a huge complex dedicated solely to collecting, preserving, promoting and showcasing the history and heritage of Saudi Arabia. The KAHC is a three milli...
RIYADH: The Saudi Blind Society (Kafif) has made all preparations for the three-day workshop for the blind to be held here next week and attended by delegates from various Asian countries.Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Shuwaiman, Kafif director general, th...
JEDDAH: The number of Saudis who took early retirement schemes last year stood at 38,647, the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) has said. The Eastern Provinces got the lion's share of disbursements for retirees, amounting to SR3.8 bill...
JEDDAH: Meat and poultry topped the list of food items seized by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) at the border crossings for violating the health standards in the last two months.Approximately 267,137 kg of unfit meat and poultry were reject...
JEDDAH: Many sponsors and workers of small companies are struggling to get a comparatively cheaper health cover for renewal of iqama (residential permit) as the insurance companies have stopped issuing the same.The passport department has made it com...
RIYADH: Police have detained 11 Indonesian nationals, who arrived in the holy city of Makkah for Umrah a few days back.The Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry is working closely with the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah to assist the group of citizen...
JEDDAH: The National Committee for Bakeries at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) said this Haj season would see no shortage in supplies of bakery items.The committee said there was need to increase operational labor by about 20 percent.It confirmed...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...
JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal met with leaders of security forces in the region on Thursday to discuss future plans and mechanisms to limit infiltrators from entering the holy sites via land passageways during Haj.During the meeting, he...

Stay Connected

Facebook