Turkey backs international envoy's truce call for Syria

AFP , Wednesday 17 Oct 2012

Turkey backs international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's proposal for a ceasefire in Syria during Eid al-Adha

Turkey on Wednesday threw its support behind a ceasefire plan for Syria's 19-month conflict that has been proposed by international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

"In principle, we consider a ceasefire ... to be declared during the Eid al-Adha as useful," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in an interview with A Haber television.

Brahimi, joint envoy of the Arab League and the United Nations, has proposed a truce for the four-day Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday at the end of the month to pave the way for a political process.

The UN envoy's proposal was also discussed during a bilateral meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of a regional summit in Baku on Tuesday, according to Davutoglu.

"Iran has declared support (for the ceasefire proposal)," he said.

Turkey and Iran remain at the two opposite ends of the conflict in Syria.

Ankara has taken an increasingly strident line towards its southern neighbour, and Shiite-led Iran is Syria's closest regional ally and is accused by several Western and Sunni-led Arab nations of providing military aid to President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Turkey backs the Syrian rebels and is currently sheltering more than 100,000 Syrian refugees in several camps along the border.

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