World Bulletin/News Desk
Syria is ready to start direct dialogue with Turkey to ease tensions between the two countries, Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement circulated by local media on Saturday.
Tensions between Damascus and Ankara escalated in October after an artillery shell allegedly fired by the Syrian army landed in a Turkish border village killing five. In response, the Turkish parliament authorized the government to launch cross-border military operations as a deterrent against potential attacks from Syria for the period of one year.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested on October 10 that the best way to resolve the conflict would be through direct contacts between Syrian and Turkish authorities.
“Syria welcomes Lavrov’s statement on the necessity to create a mechanism of direct dialogue on security issues between Syria and Turkey,” the ministry’s statement said.
Syrian authorities have discussed with the Russian ambassador in Damascus “the possibility of setting up a joint Syrian-Turkish committee on monitoring security along the mutual border,” according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, is expected to hold talks in Turkey on Saturday to learn Turkey's view of the situation as the escalation of tensions between Damascus and Ankara has fueled fears that the violent conflict in Syria may drag other countries into a regional war.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down accusing him of murdering his own people. The Syrian authorities, in return, have accused Turkey of arming and funding Syrian rebels.
On Wednesday, Turkey infuriated Syria when it intercepted a Syrian passenger plane en route from Moscow to Damascus and seized what it said was military equipment on board.
Syria denounced the move as air piracy and Russia has said the cargo was radar parts that complied with international law.
Mr Davutoglu will also meet separately in Istanbul with Arab leaders and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle for talks on the Syria crisis Saturday.
Major obstacles must be overcome for the completion of the pipeline to carry Russian gas to Europe via Black Sea and Turkey
Friday’s newspapers mainly cover President Erdogan’s remarks on coalition government plus the killing of three soldiers
Davutoglu hints at common masterminds behind recent wave of terrorist attacks by ISIL and PKK
President Tayyip Erdogan tells Turkey-China Business Forum that Turkey needs to tackle enormous trade deficit between two countries
Passenger train en route to Tehran attacked by suspected PKK militants, no casualties reported
Turkish dailies cover the fallout from recent PKK violence in Turkey, plus President Erdogan's official visit to China
Erdogan calls Selahattin Demirtas' comments on bombing that killed 32 'vulgar'
President's plan to meet with representatives from China's Uighur, Hui Muslim communities welcomed by Chinese officials
Ankara officially allows use of air bases after announcing July 24 that U.S.-led coalition can deploy aircraft at bases inside Turkey
HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas says he is ready to 'take responsibility for peace' amid worsening violence
'Although ISIL, PKK and DHKP-C feed from various sources, they are subservient to centers of evil that are united around a shared goal,' says Davutoglu
Volunteers work with children and mothers trying to get over traumatic memories of brutal civil war
Turkey president to meet Chinese counterpart in bid to improve souring ties over Beijing's treatment of Uighur minority
Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline blown up in eastern Sirnak province, says Energy Minister Yildiz
Turkish dailies on Wednesday cover President Erdogan’s comments on the solution process plus ongoing coalition talks
Turkish president Erdogan has said that he will hold talks to further economic and commercial cooperation with China and Indonesia.