As Turkey, we tried everything first at the bilateral level, then in coordination with the Arab League, and lastly at the UN Security Council in order to resolve the crisis in this country. We now need to work for an international platform on Syria, originating from the region and with broad participation of all related members of the international community.
In an extensive interview in The Cairo Review, a publication released quarterly by the American University in Cairo's School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu expressed that the situation in Syria now poses a threat to international peace and security and that it was time the international community reassess its options. During the interview, Davutoğlu stated that a solution should originate from the region and be implemented with the participation of the international community. Answering questions on Turkey's foreign policy and regional developments, Davutoğlu stated that following:
A MESSAGE TO ASSAD
The developments in Syria continue to be one of the major concerns of the international community in view of the mounting death toll in the country. The stage that has been reached in Syria poses a threat to the international peace and security. Now that it seems unlikely to see an action by the UN Security Council, the international community should reassess its options according to the new conditions in place.
Against this background, President Assad and his close entourage have the primary responsibility for the current crisis, which, unfortunately, ravages the country in front of our eyes. It is again in the hands of President Assad to end the bloodshed and to initiate a peaceful transformation process in the country through full implementation of the Arab League's initiative and roadmap.
The most effective way of dealing with the crisis in Syria is the adoption of a unified position by the international community as a whole. It will be only then that the Assad regime will finally comprehend that persisting in its current policies will only lead to more bloodshed and nothing else. Sharing a 910-kilometer-long border with Syria, Turkey will continue to be at the center of the efforts in order to address the crisis in this country. As a regional organization, the Arab League has a pivotal role in steering the efforts of the international community. The recipe for ending the crisis should ideally originate from the region and be implemented with the support of the international community.
(On the Cyprus issue) Now, with the approaching Greek Cypriot EU presidency in the second half of 2012, the window of opportunity narrowed considerably. Despite this, the Turkish Cypriot side will continue its determined efforts and we will continue to fully support them. There is still some hope: if the assessment of the process to be provided by the secretary-general's special adviser Mr. [Alexander] Downer in March is positive, the secretary-general intends to call a high-level meeting in late April or early May. This could finally produce a settlement agreement, enabling the new partnership to be established in Cyprus to assume the EU presidency on 1 July.
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