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Turkish FM urges Iran to change policy on Syria

08 August 2012 14:05 (Last updated 08 August 2012 15:27)

Turkey's top diplomat called on Iranian officials to stop supporting the Assad regime in Syria.

ANKARA (AA) - August 8, 2012 - Turkey's top diplomat on Wednesday called on Iranian officials to stop supporting the Assad regime in Syria.

"There are disagreements between Turkey and Iran over the Syrian crisis for which the Syrian regime bears the whole responsibility. It is our right to expect Iran to assume a constructive attitude in the face of the blood of Muslims spilled in Syria in the holy month of Ramadan. Blaming Turkey or other countries would produce no positive result," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters before leaving for Myanmar.
Davutoglu's remarks were made in reaction to statements by several high level Iranian officials over Turkey including one made by Iran's chief of general staff, Hasan Fruzabadi, in which he held Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar responsible for bloodshed in Syria. Fruzabadi's statement was posted on Iranian Revolutionary Guard's website on Tuesday.  
Davutoglu said he conveyed Turkey's uneasiness to his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi during a meeting on Tuesday in the Turkish capital, adding, "and I have made perfectly clear to Salehi that Iranian officials should seriously filter their statements before making them."   
Regarding a group of 48 Iranian nationals who have been kidnapped in Syria, Davutoglu said he pledged to help the Iranians.
"We would not spare any kind of help so that those kidnapped in Syria return to their families. When the issue is a humanitarian one, we would make all kinds of contributions anywhere in the world," he said.

Turkish FM leaves for Myanmar 

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday departed for Myanmar for a series of formal talks and to oversee the distribution of Turkish humanitarian aid to the displaced Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in the Arakan region.
"This is the first high level visit between Turkey and Myanmar and a large delegation of Turkish charity organizations are accompanying us," Davutoglu told reporters before his departure from capital Ankara to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis which mostly affected Arakan's Rohingya Muslims. 
Turkish premier's wife and daughter accompany Davutoglu on the visit.  
Davutoglu said he was also set to visit camps sheltering displaced Muslims and Buddhists, adding that he would also hold talks to discuss distribution of further international aid in the region.  
"I hope we will have the opportunity to find a solution to this humanitarian tragedy of our Arakanese brothers and sisters. The important thing is to open the way for more humanitarian aid," Davutoglu said.  
Davutoglu was also expected to discuss ways to improve bilateral relations with Myanmar where Turkey just recently opened an embassy.        
Turkish humanitarian aid is the first international one apart from the United Nations accepted by Myanmar's government.