Turkey urges scrapping referendum in Crimea
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 11
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkey urges canceling the referendum in Crimea, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on March 11, Anadolu news agency reported.
Ankara is doing everything possible to find ways to politically settle the situation in Crimea, he said.
Davutoglu said that the efforts so far exerted to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine have given no results.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister said that Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine and the unstable political situation in Ukraine may affect the entire Black Sea region.
He also stressed that the safety of Crimean Tatars is one of the priorities for Ankara, and Turkey is entitled to protect them.
Mass protests in Ukraine began on November 21, 2013, when the government announced the suspension of the preparation of the Association Agreement with the EU. As a result of the protests, the country's President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted on Feb.22. The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has approved the new composition of the parliament and is preparing to hold pre-term elections.
On Feb.26 several thousand people participating in two rallies gathered in front of Supreme Council of Crimea. After the escalation of the protest actions in Crimea, the Federation Council supported President Vladimir Putin's appeal regarding the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine pending 'the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country'.
Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the U.S., as well as the chairman of the European Council and the chairman of the European Commission made a joint statement condemning Russia's position on Ukraine and cancelled preparations for the G8 summit in Sochi, scheduled for June 2014.
The Crimean parliament decided to join Russia on March 6. MPs also voted to hold the referendum on the status of the peninsula on March 16.
Translated by NH
Edited by CN