Turkey says sees light at the end of tunnel for Syria

Turkey says sees light at the end of tunnel for Syria
# 28 September 2013 02:10 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Turkey's foreign minister has suggested that there are indications that the Syrian crisis is closing in on a settlement after a US-Russia deal on the destruction of Syria's chemical arms stockpile, APA reports quoting Today’s Zaman.

Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu said on Friday he sees light at the end of the tunnel for resolution of the Syrian crisis as he highlighted the importance of a draft UN Security Council resolution on which the US and Russia agreed late on Thursday.

Thursday's draft UN resolution demands that Syria give up its chemical arms, but falls short of threatening military force against the country if Syrian regime fails to comply with the charter. The council will need to adopt another resolution to impose sanctions under Chapter 7 of the

UN Charter, which gives permission for military and non-military action to promote peace and security, if the regime does not comply.

Speaking in a televised interview in New York, where he went to attend the 68th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, DavutoÄŸlu welcomed the draft resolution on Syria, saying that the charter does not “ignore” the past atrocities, apparently committed by the Syrian regime. The Turkish foreign minister said the draft text includes “accountability” for past crimes.

A vote on the resolution was expected on Friday as UN diplomats said a vote could come within 24 hours. However, the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague first needs to approve a plan for the destruction of Syria's poison gas arsenal before the vote.

Another advantage of the draft resolution, DavutoÄŸlu said, is that it includes details about the political process that will be formed in the post-Assad era.

According to the draft text, the roadmap for a political transition starts with the establishment of a transitional governing body by mutual consent with full executive powers and ends with elections. However, there has been no agreement on how to implement the roadmap, which would require Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power at some point.

DavutoÄŸlu said a missing component of the resolution was the humanitarian situation in Syria. However, he said that some members of the UN Security Council support a second resolution that will introduce solutions for the humanitarian situation in the country. DavutoÄŸlu said he will attend a meeting in Geneva with other international partners next Monday to discuss the issues of the Syrian refugees and humanitarian situation in the country.

He also said that the draft resolution is a “text” that can be put into practice “if there is the will.”

The draft also calls on "all Syrian parties to engage seriously and constructively" at a new Geneva conference and be committed "to the achievement of stability and reconciliation."

Peace talks in Geneva, dubbed Geneva 2, have been stalled by difficulties in uniting the opposition and getting a Syrian delegation to the negotiating table.

Commenting on the possible international conference in Geneva, DavutoÄŸlu said President Assad should not be included in the new political process in Syria.

“Assad should not be included in the new administration. We can now see the end of the tunnel. [The international community] should not let the Syrian people suffer more,” added DavutoÄŸlu.

On Friday, President Abdullah Gül made a change in his schedule by cancelling a trip to New Jersey originally planned for Friday and deciding to stay in New York after the US and Russia agreed on the UN Security Council draft resolution. Gül was originally scheduled to join a conference at the renowned Princeton University on Friday to deliver a speech there. However the draft resolution Russia and the US agreed on late Thursday caused the Turkish president to change his schedule.

The draft resolution was followed by intense negotiations between the US and Russia, with the latter opposed to punitive action against the Syrian regime. Opposition from Russia for sanctions against Bashar al-Assad's regime urged the US to drop a plan to launch punitive air strikes on regime forces and agree on the regime delivering its chemical weapons to the international community. Washington and Moscow signed an agreement in Geneva on Sept. 13 to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control for later destruction, which the Assad government accepted.