Upping the rhetoric on Assad

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Upping the rhetoric on Assad

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Western and Gulf Arab nations are calling for a strict timetable for the implementation of Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria.

At a Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul, Turkey they supported the United Nations special envoy’s efforts but warned against Damascus using the plan to play for time.

Turkey borders Syria, and its Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, went further.

“If the UN Security Council fails once again to fulfil its historic responsibility there will be no other choice than to support the Syrian people’s right to self-defence,” he said.

Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad accepted the plan almost a week ago but has yet to implement it and the violence has continued.

But commentator and analyst Husnu Mahalli told euronews he believed the international community was sending mixed messages.

On the one hand, he said, Annan working for a peaceful, political solution and on the other various parties were discussing giving money and even arms to the opposition.

There was no direct discussion of arming the rebels at the conference but delegates did accept the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of all Syrians. However they stopped short of full recognition of it, possibly because of the deep divisions within the group.