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Annan plan-only chance to settle Syrian crisis-Turkey

April 01, 2012, 16:57 UTC+3

The plan on a peaceful settlement, proposed by special representative of the Arab League and the UN on Syria Kofi Annan

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ISTANBUL, April 1 (Itar-Tass) — The plan on a peaceful settlement, proposed by special representative of the Arab League and the UN on Syria Kofi Annan, is the only chance to settle problems of that country at this time, said to Itar-Tass on Sunday adviser on foreign policy to the Turkish prime minister Ibrahim Kalin.

He emphasized that this plan is capable potentially of meeting the interests of all sides, involved in the conflict as well as members of the international community. “The opening of humanitarian corridors is one of the most important questions under discussion now.

“Participants are ready to start translating this initiative into life, but we need to get agreement from Syrian authorities. A humanitarian mission cannot take place without this,” he said.

Kalin expressed conviction that the conference of “Friends of Syria”, now in progress in Istanbul, will yield specific results at least in achieving some goals.

“The international pressure on Damascus has increased as compared with the time of holding the first conference in Tunisia,” he said, adding that “the level of representation of countries in Istanbul and their number increased”.

According to Erdogan’s adviser, forum participants discuss a broad range of issues, including a prospect for creating a buffer zone on the Turkish-Syrian border. The talks are attended by the Syrian National Council which was recognized by Turkey as a legitimate representative of Syrian people. According to Kalin’s data, it unites up to 90 percent of opposition Syrian forces.

Kalin also noted the final decision of the conference would not include a chance for preserving his post by Syrian President Bashar Assad during a settlement of the crisis and holding of reforms. However, he did not claim flatly that a way out of the crisis with the incumbent president is impossible.

In the meantime, a rally of Assad’s supporters is underway at the entrance to the Istanbul congress centre where “Friends of Syria” continue their meeting. Dozens of people chant slogans in support of the regime and show portraits of the Syrian president. The action is passing without incidents and in the presence of great numbers of police commandos.

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