KyivPost

Clinton visits Turkey for talks on Syria

Print version
Aug. 11, 2012, 1:18 p.m. | World — by Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to meet Syrian refugees in Istanbul during her visit as the U.S. and allies boost humanitarian relief for civilians who have fled the civil war in Syria.
© AFP

Associated Press

Associated Press

ISTANBUL — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton opened talks in Turkey on Saturday with Turkish officials as well as Syrian opposition figures on how to undermine the Syrian regime and lay the groundwork for a democratic transition.

Clinton met Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and was scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as President Abdullah Gul. Turkey is a fierce critic of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and has welcomed Syrian activists working to overthrow him.

The 17-month-old conflict in Syria has defied all international attempts to calm the bloodshed. Rebels and activists said Friday they have had enough of diplomacy and appealed to the international community to send weapons. Syrian rebels said Friday that they were running low on ammunition and guns as government forces tried to consolidate their control over Aleppo, the country's largest city and a deadly battleground for more than two weeks.

Diplomats, meanwhile, have said former Algerian foreign affairs minister and longtime U.N. official Lakhdar Brahimi has emerged as a strong candidate to replace Kofi Annan as U.N. peace envoy to Syria. Annan announced his resignation last week, ending a frustrating six-month effort that failed to achieve even a temporary cease-fire as the country descended into civil war. Activists say some 20,000 people have been killed.

Clinton also plans to meet Syrian refugees in Istanbul during her visit as the U.S. and allies boost humanitarian relief for civilians who have fled the civil war in Syria. More than 51,000 Syrians have sought refuge in neighboring Turkey, with many more in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. There were more than 6,000 new arrivals in Turkey this week alone, many from the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo and surrounding villages, while others came from Idlib and Latakia.

The U.N. refugee agency said Friday that the number of refugees in four neighboring countries, including Turkey, reached almost 150,000. That figure counts only Syrians who have registered or are in the process of registering as refugees. Officials acknowledge the real number of Syrian refugees is likely above 200,000 since tens of thousands are believed to have not yet registered with authorities.

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/kyivpost/. The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.

KyivPost

© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.