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.
Turkey’s Islamabad ambassador says more training will take place across Pakistan soon
Warplanes bomb targets in Iraq's Sinat-Haftanin and Metina regions, Turkish military says
Rocket launchers, armoured vehicles and ammunition depots hit during operation, Turkish military source says
Justice and Development Party deputies carry confidence vote in 550-seat parliament
Protest in Turkish capital remembers 10 victims of 2010 Mavi Marmara aid flotilla incident
The 3-day curfew was imposed in 13 neighborhoods of the province of Mardin to nab PKK extremists
Turkey's leadership in helping least development nations should be emulated, according to senior UN official
'Those who are our friends, who are with us in NATO... cannot, must not send their soldiers to Syria wearing YPG insignia,' Turkish president says
A group of devout Muslims from across Turkey prayed before the city’s historic Hagia Sophia on the 562nd anniversary of the Turkish conquest of Istanbul, demanding that the site be turned back into a mosque.
Army, police sources say PKK has burned 180 properties in Sirnak amid anti-terror operations
According to Turkish military, 4 PKK were killed in Mardin province and 17 others in Sirnak
Rockets shot from Syria have landed at Gaziantep Airport this morning. Updates to follow
Extremists were killed while preparing to fire rockets into Turkey, military says
Touting new govt ahead of confidence vote, Deputy PM Kurtulmus says it is one of 'reforms, breakthroughs, and action'
Turkey's Deputy FM Koru says nearly 4,200 students from least-developed countries benefit from Turkish government scholarships
Istanbul police detain 15 people and seize firearms, ammunition in PKK-linked operation