AFP reports: The international community is not doing enough to help resolve the Syrian crisis, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Tuesday as he urged an orderly transition to democracy.
“The international community as whole has so far performed poorly in providing an effective response to the crisis at hand,” Gul said in a public address following the NATO summit in Chicago.
Gul said Turkey is doing “all it can to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people,” including hosting close to 25,000 Syrians who “fled from the regime’s campaign of violence.”
He deplored the fact that “scores of people are dying in pursuit of their rights and dignity” in Syria and said it is the responsibility of the international community to support the Syrian people’s journey to democracy.
“The six-point Annan Plan might still be the last chance for an orderly transition in Syria if it is urgently implemented in all its aspects, including an effective ceasefire, free political activity and exercise of democratic rights,” Gul told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
“Once this is achieved, I believe a relatively peaceful political transition can be reached in Syria.”
Turkey is “highly concerned” about nuclear proliferation and continues to call for the establishment of a “weapons of mass destruction free zone” which would include both Iran and Israel, Gul said.
The Associated Press reports: United States and NATO officials say the North Atlantic alliance has no intention of intervening militarily to quell violence in Syria.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder said members of the alliance continue to seek ways to pressure Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime so it abides by a peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan.
Reuters reports: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern on Monday that violence from the 14-month conflict in Syria could spread to neighbouring Lebanon, and reiterated his fear that the Syrian violence may erupt into a full-scale civil war.
In a readout of a meeting between Ban and new French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Chicago, the U.N. press office wrote that Ban said the world is at “a pivotal moment in the search for a peaceful settlement to the crisis.”
Ban was “extremely troubled about the risk of an all-out civil war (in Syria) and was concerned about the outbreak of related violence in Lebanon,” the U.N. statement said.