Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu responded to allegations put forth by Syrian President Bashar Assad as well as by an American retired soldier and intelligence officers that Turkey and Saudi Arabia supplied chemical weapons to the opposition in Syria in a press conference held on Friday with his visiting Nicaraguan counterpart Samuel Santos Lopez.
Foreign Minister Davutoğlu explained to reporters that as soon as the news reports began to surface he told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to provide any information they have on the matter otherwise, he said, "it is not right to assert such claims based on speculation."
REPORTS WITH INTENT: "These types of speculative reports are released with intentions," said Davutoğlu adding, "Turkey is a party to international agreements against chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction." Reiterating that chemical weapons are a crime against humanity, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu stated, "Whomever provided access, supplied or used these weapons has committed a crime against humanity and should be subjected to the harshest legal measures. Never mind Turkey providing any form of assistance, when it comes to chemical weapons, we don't even consent to lenience being shown to the procurement of such weapons. Those who act indecisively when it comes to chemical arms will also eventually be judged in the conscience of humanity."
THE RESPONSIBLE PARTIES ARE THE REGIME AND THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL: (Commenting on the claims Turkey supplied chemical arms) Foreign Minister Davutoğlu explained that as soon as the reports began to surface in the Russian press, he spoke with Lavrov and stated, "We don't want to hear such allegations made by any Russian authority. If you have any information, then provide it to us. However, it is not right to assert such claims based on speculation."
Davutoğlu went on to state that they had hoped the United Nations Security Council would have come together and reached a solution on Syria before the death toll reached this level and before this vast number of refugees were forced to seek shelter in neighboring countries thereby disrupting their internal order. "The responsible parties today are the oppressive regime and the international community and the UN Security Council which has failed thus far to take the necessary steps," stated Davutoğlu.
SANCTIONS ARE MANDATORY: (Commenting on the Russian proposal for Syria to handover its chemical arms stockpile to international control.) "As for this latest endeavor, I have spoken with both Kerry and Lavrov and said to them, of course, we will support the eradication of chemical weapons from a country, as this is a positive move. However, there are two questions that need to be answered. While taking this progressive step, what sort of response will the international community be providing to the families that suffered from this tragedy of humanity that transpired through the use of chemical weapons? There needs to be sanctions. Secondly, our brothers who were killed by rockets and scud missiles suffered the same persecution. Peace will not prevail if by perceiving the handover of chemical weapons as being a conclusive solution we deliver the message that the Syrian regime will not face sanctions no matter how many people they kill so long as they do not use chemical weapons."
WE HAVE NEVER INVITED WAR: Davutoğlu assured that Turkey has never invited foreign military intervention in this region and stated, "We are saying, 'stop this war which has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.' We are not saying, 'Start a war.' This war needs to be stopped. These grave crimes against humanity need to be subject to international sanctions. We can debate the methods used, however it is unacceptable for any stance to be adopted that excuses or encourages the Syrian regime," stated Davutoğlu.
SILENT DIPLOMACY FOR ABDUCTED TURKISH PILOTS
Davutoğlu also commented on the ongoing efforts to secure the return of two Turkish pilots, Murat Akpınar and Murat Ağca, who were abducted in Lebanon on August 9. "There is a process ongoing right now of silent diplomacy, which we have done numerous times in the past; however you can be sure that we are following developments minute by minute. We have met with the families of the pilots and we share their sentiments and pain. What matters most is ensuring the pilots' safe return to their family. We are exerting every form of effort. Hopefully, we will receive some good news soon," stated Davutoğlu.