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Davutoglu to Iran: Tell Syria to End Violence

Turkish Foreign Minister urges Tehran to "send a clear message" to Syria's embattled regime to stop the violence against its own people.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/19/2012, 6:20 AM

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Flash 90 / archive

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged Tehran on Tuesday to "send a clear message" to Syria's embattled regime to stop the violence against its own people, AFP reports.

"Instead of criticising the (Patriot missile) system, Iran should say stop to the Syrian regime that has been continuously oppressing its own people and provoking Turkey through border violations," Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara.

"It is time to send clear messages to the Syrian regime," he added.

His comments referred to Iran's condemning a plan by Turkey to deploy U.S.-made Patriot missiles along its border with Syria. Iran's foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said on Sunday that "the deployment of Patriot missiles will achieve nothing but to provoke and result in being forced into an uncalculated action."

On Saturday, Iran's top general issued a stern warning to Ankara over its planned hosting of the missile batteries, saying it was part of a Western plot to "create a world war."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has cancelled an upcoming scheduled visit to Turkey, likely because of the Patriot deployment. The cancellation of Ahmadinejad's visit raised Turkish-Iranian tensions to new heights.

Earlier this month, NATO agreed to deploy Patriot missiles along the border of Turkey as requested by Ankara to help it defend its territory against threats from Syria. Germany, the Netherlands and the United States have agreed to provide the missile batteries, which would come under NATO command.

Turkey formally asked its NATO partners to deploy the U.S.-made anti-missile system after a series of cross-border shellings, including one that left five civilians dead on October 3.