Monday, May 28, 2012

Turkey strengthens ties with Syrian opposition

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) in a meeting with Burhan Ghalioun, the outgoing president of the so-called Syrian National Council (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Turkey has strengthened ties with the Syrian opposition during a meeting between the country’s foreign minister and members of the so-called Syrian National Council (SNC).

Ahmet Davutoglu held talks with the SNC members in Istanbul to discuss the escalation of violence in Syria following a recent massacre in the western Syria town of Houla, AFP reported on Sunday.

Burhan Ghalioun, the outgoing president of the council, was leading the opposition’s delegation during the meeting.

Ghalioun resigned a few days ago because of increasing criticism of his leadership, but has been asked to continue in his post until a new president is elected.

The SNC has been plagued by infighting and divisions since it was established in September. It is based in Turkey and is made up of several exiled Syrian opposition groups.

The head of the UN observer mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood said on Sunday that more than 100 people, including at least 32 children, had been killed in the deadly clashes in Houla on Friday.

The confrontations broke out between Syrian forces and armed groups, despite a ceasefire that took effect on April 12.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jihad Makdissi said on Sunday that Damascus holds armed groups responsible for the clashes.

The ceasefire is part of a six-point peace plan, which was presented by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan in March.

The first group of UN observers arrived in the Syrian capital on April 15 in line with the UNSC Resolution 2042, which had been approved on the previous day.

On April 21, the Security Council met and unanimously approved Resolution 2043, which ratified a proposal to send a mission of 300 observers to the country.

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