U.N. Special Representative for Syria Staffan de Mistura arrived in Ankara yesterday for talks with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ümit Yalçın and his deputy, Sedat Önal, over the recent developments in Syria.
The visit comes after the U.S., U.K. and France conducted a series of military strikes on Saturday targeting the Assad regime's chemical weapons capabilities in retaliation to a suspected chemical attack in Douma, Eastern Ghouta.
Turkey welcomed the strikes as an "appropriate response," but said that only focusing on destroying chemical weapons would not be enough to end the instability in the region and the aim should be to end the war in Syria.
De Mistura has been the U.N. mediator in the Geneva Syria talks, and has also taken place in the Astana talks between the regime and the opposition members, under the guarantorship of Turkey, Iran and Russia.
After his meetings in Ankara, de Mistura was expected continue on to Moscow and Tehran yesterday.
Meanwhile, U.K. Ambassador to Ankara Dominick Chilcott said the U.S.-led coalition's strike to Assad regime did not aim to change the course of the Syrian civil war or diminish Russia's strategic purposes, affirming the constructive role of the Astana process is finding a solution to the Syrian crisis. He added that to gather all warring sides around the negotiation table is only way to stop the war.
The British envoy also supported President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's words saying that there is no difference between killing people with conventional or chemical weapons, adding that a huge humanitarian catastrophe is ongoing in Syria.
Turkey, Iran and Russia launched a Syrian peace process in Astana to complement the U.N.-brokered talks in Geneva to bring an end to the seven-year conflict in the country.
The three countries held a series of summits in Russia's Black Sea city of Sochi and the Turkish capital to bring together the conflicting parties in Syria. The next meeting of the trilateral leadership is expected to take place in the Iranian capital Tehran.
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