Turkey to launch new international initiative on Syria – Turkey, Arabs Condemn Russia, China over Syria | DC
Continuing Bloodshed Forcing Increased Diplomatic Effort as Arabs Condemn Russia | Democracy, elections, and voting at Democracy Chronicles
Turkey is preparing a new initiative with those countries who oppose the Syrian government, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, describing China’s and Russia’s veto of a U.N. resolution on Syria a “fiasco”.
“We are going to start a new initiative with those countries that stand by the people, not the Syrian government. We are preparing this,” Erdogan told a meeting of his ruling AK Party in Ankara, giving no further details on the initiative, according to Reuters.
“The process that occurred at the United Nations in relation to Syria is a fiasco for the civilized world,” he said.
A Russian-Chinese veto of an Arab-backed U.N. resolution on Syria caused outrage.
Moscow and Beijing were the only members of the 15-member U.N. Security Council to vote against the resolution backing an Arab League call for Assad to yield power and start a political transition. The double veto prompted unusually undiplomatic Western criticism.
For his part, the Turkish premier said the Security Council vote gave the “license to kill to the hands of the tyrant,” referring to his one-time friend Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Erdogan said the veto power should be used responsibly without “giving green light to death.”
“The Syrian matter cannot be sacrificed to power struggle,” he added.
Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, has been at the forefront of international criticism against the Damascus regime and has also become a haven for many Syrian opposition activists.
“We cannot remain silent to what is happening in Syria and we cannot turn our back on the Syrian people,” Erdogan said.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the six Gulf Cooperation Council states have decided to expel Syria’s envoys and withdraw their own from Damascus over the “mass slaughter” of civilians in Syria, a joint statement said.
“State members have decided to withdraw their ambassadors from Syria and ask at the same time for all the ambassadors of the Syrian regime to leave immediately,” a GCC statement said.
The statement condemned “mass slaughter against the unarmed Syrian people” during the nearly 11-month crackdown by President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.