Middle East

Brahimi to visit Turkey over Ankara-Damascus crisis

Lakhdar Brahimi (R), U.N.-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria and former Algerian minister of foreign affairs, leaves after attending the funeral ceremony of former Algerian President Chadli Bendjedid at the presidential place in Algiers October 7, 2012. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

ANKARA: International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will travel to Turkey on Saturday for discussions on the Syrian crisis, including latest tensions between Ankara and Damascus, a diplomatic source said.

Brahimi is expected to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul "to discuss all aspects of the Syrian crisis," the source told AFP.

It would be Brahimi's second trip to Turkey. In September, the envoy visited a refugee camp in Hatay province near the Syrian border.

On Saturday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will also hold talks with Davutoglu on the Syrian crisis.

Tensions are running high between former allies Turkey and Syria after the deadly crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad on popular dissent in a conflict that has claimed more than 30,000 lives so far, according to monitoring groups.

On Wednesday, Turkish jets forced a Syrian plane travelling from Moscow to Damascus to land in Turkey on suspicions that it was carrying weapons to Syria.

Turkey's parliament has approved military action against Damascus "if needed" after Syrian shells killed five civilians inside Turkey last week.





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