Erdogan tells Annan Syria must stick to peace plan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan that Syria must display it sticks to his peace plan to end the year-long violence in Turkey's southern neighbor, Today's Zaman reported.
A statement Prime Ministry released late on Friday said Annan told Erdogan over the phone late on Friday that he attaches great importance to "Friends of Syria" meeting in İstanbul this weekend.
Representatives from more than 70 countries are to attend a summit on Syria in İstanbul this weekend, while key international figures including Annan and the European Union's chief foreign policy official are expected to miss the key gathering.
Some 74 countries have confirmed attendance at the meeting of the "Friends of Syria," a coalition opposed to the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because of his brutal crackdown on the year-old protests against the regime, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in televised remarks on Thursday evening.
The United Nations will be represented by UN-Arab League Deputy Joint Special Envoy for Syria Nasser Al Kidwa; but Davutoglu said he would talk to Annan on the phone on Friday to share views about Iran and the summit.
Annan has proposed a peace plan for Syria, accepted by Assad. The UN-Arab League envoy will brief the UN Security Council by video link from Geneva on Monday with an update on events over the past week, during which he flew to Beijing and Moscow.
Annan's proposal calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from cities and towns, humanitarian assistance, the release of prisoners and free movement and access for journalists. It does not hinge on Assad leaving office.
Three international organizations -- the Arab League, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation -- will also be represented at the Friends of Syria summit, the first of which was held in Tunisia in February with the participation of representatives from 68 countries.
Erdogan told Annan that 40 countries will be represented at the foreign ministerial level but Annan said although he may miss the gathering as he was scheduled to brief members of the Security Council, he will dispatch a high-level committee representing him.
Erdogan told Annan that Syria must immediately live up to its obligations in the peace plan if it wants its statements are considered serious.
The statement added that Erdogan and Annan agreed on continuing consultations with respect to the developments in Syria.