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Turkey Urges UN To Consider Sanctioning Parties Violating Syrian Truce

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Turkey’s foreign minister said he and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed imposing sanctions on parties that violate the week-old cease-fire in Syria.

“There should be sanctions because otherwise you cannot control this and you cannot go to the political talks,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said after meeting with Guterres on January 5.

Cavusoglu said UN staff were “working” on the possibility of sanctions, but nothing has been finalized yet.

“Maybe we need another Security Council resolution” on the matter, he said.

Cavusoglu warned once again that cease-fire violations are jeopardizing peace talks being organized by Russia and Turkey to occur in the capital of Kazakhstan on January 23.

Syrian rebel groups allied with Turkey announced this week that they were suspending discussions about joining the peace negotiations because of cease-fire violations by the Syrian regime.

If the talks in Astana proceed as scheduled, Cavusoglu said “the UN will have a leading role” and UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will be there.

Cavusoglu stressed that both sides, but especially the Syrian government, must respect the cease-fire agreement that was brokered by Turkey and Russia and went into effect on December 30.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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