More voices call for Syrian truce for Eid

Oct. 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Ankara called on the government in Damascus to honor growing calls for a temporary cease-fire for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday that his government was formally standing behind the growing number of calls for a three-day truce in Syria in observance of the religious holiday that begins Oct. 25.

"Let's hope that the Syrian regime pays attention to this call by the international community and stops these attacks during Eid," he was quoted by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman as saying. "At the same time, we also expect and demand that the Syrian opposition observe the cease-fire in the same way."

U.N. Syrian peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who arrived Friday in Damascus, proposed the temporary truce. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a key Syrian ally, joined the chorus of voices backing the cease-fire this week and Today's Zaman reports the German government followed suit Friday.

"This would be an important humanitarian glimmer of hope for people in Syria," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

The Turkish military this week fired on Syrian forces when two rockets landed in Turkish territory. No injuries were reported, though Turkish jets have ramped up their border patrols.

Civil war in Syria, which began in March 2011, has left an estimated 20,000 people dead.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said this week that the international community "cannot simply shrug and turn away" from the ongoing bloodshed. Despite growing condemnation, members of the Security Council are divided over the best way to address the Syrian crisis.

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