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Davutoglu and Clinton discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria.

11 August 2012 10:21 (Last updated 11 August 2012 16:54)
Davutoglu said Turkey and US agreed that a transition process in Syria had to take place in the shortest possible.

ISTANBUL

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and United States Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton met in Istanbul, discussing the ongoing crisis in Syria.
Speaking in a joint press appearance after their bilateral meeting, Davutoglu said Turkey and the US agreed that a transition process in Syria had to take place in the shortest possible time and that a power vacuum should not be allowed during the transition.
"We share a joint perspective that we need to take all kinds of measures against terrorist groups especially the PKK which could try to take advantage of such a power vacuum," Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu said Syrian refugees who took shelter at Turkey camps had reached over 55 thousand with thousands more arriving everyday, which he said showed the gravity of the humanitarian situation in Syria.   
"And it obvious that we expect a much more extensive solidarity from the international community in shouldering this burden," Davutoglu said.  
The Turkish minister said developments in Aleppo was of great concern for Turkey as Assad's forces massacred civilians and destroyed historical sites with air assaults. 
"International community needs to take steps to say a powerful and clear 'stop' to this massacre," Davutoglu said. 
Davutoglu said there were two main focal points in Saturday's meeting over possible worst case scenarios regarding the crisis in Syria.
"We decided to plan how we are going to react as the international community, the US and Turkey. The recent events in Aleppo has shown that a gigantic wave of migration can result from all these atrocities. There might also some groups who might try to benefit from a possible power vacuum and we have seen signs of this recently in certain regions in Syria, and another potential threat is the possible use of chemical weapons," he said.
Davutoglu said Turkey and the US had decided to work together and include some other international actors as well if there was a huge wave of refugee migration. 
"And we need to establish a mechanism within Syria to ensure humanitarian protection," Davutoglu said through an interpreter. 
"The US and Turkey have been working in a coordinated manner already but we need to brace for the impact. We need to focus on more practical, more pragmatic and to-the-point solutions. This is the decision that we have taken. From now on our coordination will become more systematized and structured and today's meeting have been a very critical one in order to lay the foundations for this," he said.

Clinton stressed ''intensive operational planning''

United States Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton said that the US had moved to donate an extra aid of 5 million USD through the United Nations and 500 thousand USD over the International Organization for Migration to strengthen the US support for displaced Syrians in Turkey, adding that US assistance had totalled 82 million so far.    

Clinton praised Turkey's hospitality toward Syrians living in camps in the country, adding that shelter, food, health and education services Turkey provided to the refugees had "very serious financial costs."
"It is the first time I have ever saw migrants pray together for the government of their host country," Clinton told reporters.  
The US secretary said "there was a very clear understanding about the need to end the conflict quickly but not doing it in a way that produces even more deaths, injuries and destruction."
"Anything we do should be to hasten the end of bloodshed not to catalyze even greater and more horrible crimes of assaults. Really doing contingency planning, sorting this out is what we have agreed to do," she said.
Clinton said today's meeting also agreed to have "intensive operational planning." 
"We have been closely coordinating over the course of this conflict. But now we need to get into the real details of such operational planning and it needs to be across both of our governments. We are going to be setting up a working group to do exactly that," she said in a bid to coordinate military, intelligence and political responses to possible greater influx refugees and to a chemical attack.

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