Turkish PM: U.N. had ‘no Plan A’ to end Syria war

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, right, shakes hands with Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minster of Turkey, at UN headquarters, Thursday, March 5, 2015.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, right, shakes hands with Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minster of Turkey, at UN headquarters, Thursday, March 5, 2015.


Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday took a swipe on the United Nations and the international community for not having a plan to end the worsening Syrian conflict.

Davutoglu told reporters after meeting Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the U.N. plan to freeze fighting in Aleppo, which has failed to make headway, fell short of a comprehensive approach.

“Unfortunately, the international community did not have a Plan A until now — forget plan B,” the prime minister said.

“We heard some proposals but the U.N. Security Council and the international community did not have a clear strategy regarding the Syria crisis.”

Davutoglu said Turkey “expects the international community to do more to resolve the Syria crisis because it is the source of all evils.” U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura proposed in October the plan to suspend fighting in Aleppo to allow humanitarian aid and lay the groundwork for broader peace talks.

Aleppo, which has been divided between government-controlled and rebel-held areas, has been rocked by heavy fighting over the past days, dimming hopes that the U.N. effort will yield results.

Turkey has been a fierce opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has supported armed groups fighting the regime while sheltering two million refugees on its territory.

But Ankara has been criticized for failing to crack down on foreign fighters flocking to Syria, many of whom are joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group, and for doing too little to shore up the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS.

Davutoglu hit back at critics, saying it was “easy” to “judge the situation sitting in New York or in capitals” but that Turkey faced major challenges that were difficult to address.

He called for more intelligence-sharing to allow Turkish authorities to deport would-be fighters heading across the border and slammed UN inaction to pursue war crimes cases in Syria.

Asked about the prime minister’s criticism, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric pointed to the failure of the Security Council to agree on a common approach but said U.N. efforts to stop the violence would continue.

Russia, Syria’s ally, has vetoed several resolutions aimed at punishing the regime in Damascus over the war, including a measure last year to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for war crimes investigations.


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