Turkey opposes foreign intervention in Syria, Davutoglu says

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday that Turkey is opposed to any foreign intervention in Syria, where the regime's crackdown on pro-democracy protests has drawn international condemnation.

"We do not want foreign intervention in Syria," Davutoglu said after a Ramadan fast breaking dinner in Ankara.

"We will not accept operations against civilians in the month of Ramadan. We took every measure to prevent this," Davutoglu said, without elaborating.

Turkey's top diplomat held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for more than six hours during a visit to Damascus a week ago, urging him to end the bloodshed and open the path to political reforms.

Recently, media reports said Turkey has weighed creating a buffer zone on its border with Syria to prevent the influx of refugees into the country as the Syrian regime's violent repression of protests grows worse.

However, Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said Tuesday Turkey does not have such plans.

Davutoglu also said he had spoken with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon by phone Tuesday about Syria, without elaborating about their conversation.

Ankara, whose ties with Damascus have flourished in recent years, has repeatedly called on Assad to initiate reforms but has stopped short of calling for his departure.

The Syrian regime has sought to crush weeks of protests with brutal force, killing more than 1,600 civilians and arresting at least 12,000 of dissenters, rights activists say.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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