Conflict & Justice

Turkey pressures Syrian regime to stop bloodshed

The Syrian regime is facing massive criticism from several countries with envoys from Turkey, India, Brazil and South Africa all going to Damascus to demand that President Bashar al-Assad end the killing of protestors.

Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, would visit on Tuesday, a significant step considering the country had close ties to Damascus until recently.

But Ankara has become increasingly critical of its neighbor over the violent crackdown during the five-month-old uprising, the Guardian reports.

Davutoglu will deliver a strong message to Damascus, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said.

In Washington, U.S. state department spokesman Mark Toner praised Turkey's action and said the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, had spoken to Davutoglu.

"They did talk about the situation in Syria, and we believe it's another opportunity to send yet another strong message to Assad that this crackdown on peaceful protesters cannot stand," Toner said, the Guardian reports.

However, Syria is hoping Turkey and Gulf countries would "quickly correct their stands," the state-run Al-Baath newspaper said Tuesday in an editorial, after Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain recalled their envoys to Damascus, Xinhua reports.

Damascus still believes that its real ties with those countries "can end political differences if there are good intentions," Al- Baath newspaper said.

The paper said the Gulf and Turkish stands have come in line with the United States and the European counties in "disregarding what the Syrian people is subject to terrorism, and denying the right of Syria to confront it and protect its people."

It said the Gulf stands were "unanticipated because they are brothers and the Turkish stand was also unexpected because they ( the Turks) are friends."