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Erdogan says Syria ceasefire plan will only serve to benefit Assad

A US-Russian plan for a ceasefire in Syria has been heavily criticised by the Turkish President

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Erdogan says Syria ceasefire plan will only serve to benefit Assad

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A US-Russian plan for a ceasefire in Syria has been heavily criticised by the Turkish President, who claims it will really only serve to benefit the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Point of view

We want to say frankly that these voices are a call for war rather than for peace

“We endorse a ceasefire that would relieve Syrian brothers,” said Recep Tyyip Erdogan.

“But it’s worrying to see that with this ceasefire Assad’s regime, responsible for the killing of more than a half million people, and the powers who are backing him, receive open support while a hesitant tone is taken towards the opposition.”

Erdogan also accused the West, Russia and Iran of “permitting, directly or indirectly, the killing of innocent people”.

But Russia has hit back at critics of the ceasefire plan.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “Literally on the day Russia and the United States approved the joint initiative on the ceasefire in Syria, voices could be heard from the capitals of US allies and from Washington questioning the viability of this agreement.

“We want to say frankly that these voices are a call for war rather than for peace.”

President Obama says he’s cautious about raising expectations over a ceasefire. Syria’s main opposition has just confirmed it is ready to respect a truce for a period of two weeks.

However, Obama maintains that any progress could lead to a political process to end the war in Syria.