April 13, 2018 / 08:13 PM
Turkey urges US, Russia to refrain from escalating tension over Syria

Turkey has urged both the United States and Russia to refrain from acts that could further escalate tension over Syria, calling on Moscow to take effective measures to stop the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he conveyed these messages in phone calls with both U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the latter deploying his special envoy on Syria to the Turkish capital Ankara to discuss developments in the war-torn country after the alleged use of chemical weapons by Damascus.

 “We have demanded sensitivity to be displayed by all coalition forces, particularly the U.S. and Russia. Current developments show the tension is likely to be easing, but our talks with our counterparts will continue,” Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers on April 13.

 “Escalating tension is not right. We also demand that all sides [take steps to] build peace and end this tragedy in the region,” he added.

The Turkish president had phone calls with Trump on late April 11 and with Putin on April 12. He also said he received Putin’s special envoy to Syria, after the use of chemical weapons in Douma.

 “I have video footage [of the use of chemical weapons] and I gave these recordings to the special envoy or Mr. Putin,” Erdogan said, adding that his talks with Trump were also about the use of these weapons in Douma.

 “The coalition forces’ stance against the use these chemical weapons is very positive. I told him we are also very committed on this issue. As you know, we have a very tough stance against the use of chemical weapons,” he said.

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