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Turkey demands 'immediate' opening of Syrian aid corridor

Turkey's PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls on Syria to open aid corridors, praises Syrian opposition

AFP , Tuesday 6 Mar 2012
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on neighbouring Syria on Tuesday to allow the immediate opening of humanitarian aid corridors.

"Humanitarian aid corridors must immediately be opened," Erdogan told a parliamentary meeting of his AKP party, urging the international community to put pressure on Damascus to allow the delivery of relief supplies to civilians.

But the prime minister did not comment on the possible location for an aid corridor into Syria with whom Turkey shares a 910-kilometre (560-mile) border.

In the parliament, Erdogan accused his one-time ally President Bashar al-Assad of ramping up the violence against the Syrian opposition whom he saluted for their "honourable and determined resistance".

And Erdogan also delivered an implicit rebuke to Russia and China for vetoing a UN Security Council resolution criticising the Assad regime.

"Some countries' hesitant approach is strengthening the Assad administration," said Erdogan.

Erdogan has been one of the strongest critics of his former ally Assad over the crackdown on protesters, which has left more than 7,600 people dead in the last year, according to the UN.

Some 11,000 Syrians have fled to Turkey since the uprising began in March last year, according to Turkish government figures.

They are mainly housed in camps in Hatay, where members of the Free Syrian Army, made up of deserters from the Syrian security forces, are also based.

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