Friday, September 28, 2012

Turkish premier lashes out at Russia China over Syria stance

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)

News Source: Press TV

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has taken a harsh swipe at Russia and China over the great powers’ position regarding the unrest in Syria.

"The main source of disappointment is Russia. Let alone raising its voice against Syria, it stands by the massacre," Erdogan said in an interview broadcast live on Turkish television station NTV on Thursday.

The Turkish premier also lashed out at China, saying Beijing had let Ankara down by obstructing a Turkish proposal for a buffer zone on the border with Syria at the UN Security Council.

"China stands by Russia, and although (Chinese President) Hu Jintao had told me they wouldn't veto the plan (for a safe zone) for a third time, they did at the UN vote," Erdogan said.

The two veto-wielding powers of the 15-member UN council insist that the 18-month crisis in the Arab country must be resolved politically with Syrians as the sole decision-makers of their country’s destiny.

The duo have so far vetoed a UN draft resolution in July that called for tough sanctions against the Syrian government under the seventh chapter of the UN Charter and would have thus paved the way for foreign military intervention.

On February 4, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed draft resolution on Syria at the UN Security Council. The two countries rejected the draft as “unbalanced.” They also blocked a European-drafted UN Security Council resolution against Syria on October 5, 2011.

This is while Turkey, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has spearheaded Western efforts to bring down the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by equipping the insurgents in the Middle Eastern country with financial and military resources, a bid that has only worsened the situation and dashed hopes of getting a diplomatic solution to the gridlock.

Erdogan’s bellicosity towards Turkey’s southern neighbor has, meanwhile, failed to garner domestic support. A recent poll conducted in Turkey shows only 18 percent of the population back the premier’s “flawed” policy regarding Syria.

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