The second meeting of the Joint Strategic Planning Group for the Turkey-Russia High Level Cooperation Council was held in Moscow yesterday. Following the meeting chaired by Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov
, the two ministers held a press conference. It was there Davutoğlu offered up a comparison by stating that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
is no longer alive because he did not heed the suggestions made to him and Syria
leader Bashar Assad
continues to exert violence against his own people and has not fulfilled the promises made on reforms.
'THE VIOLENCE MUST BE STOPPED'
Davutoğlu states, "Turkey will never intervene in another country's internal affairs. We have remained true to this principle in the case of both Libya and Syria. We remained against external intervention in Libya for a long time. Had Gaddafi heeded our proposals, he could be living in his country today in peace. Russia also made similar suggestions. We have also made similar suggestions to Syria all throughout last year. We are making the same call to Syria from Moscow. We are calling on Syria to stop exerting violence against the public and to implement reforms as soon as possible. However, as we talk about this today, people continue to die in Syria."
'OUR STANCE ON SYRIA OVERLAPS'
Davutoğlu stated that in NATO Turkey will never consent to designating neighboring nations such as Russia, Iran or Syria as targets. Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Lavrov stated that his country's and Turkey's stance against Syria overlap in principle. Lavrov also stated, "We are seeking to establish a joint stance and convergence with Turkey in our policy on international relations."