NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a press conference after a meeting of NATO Defense Ministers at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, capital of Belgium, Oct. 9, 2012. Rasmussen Tuesday urged the international community, especially the United Nations Security Council, to put "much stronger" pressure on the Syrian government to bring about a political solution. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)
BRUSSELS, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Tuesday urged the international community, especially the United Nations Security Council, to put "much stronger" pressure on the Syrian government to bring about a political solution.
"It is for the United Nations Security Council to send a very strong, united message to the Syrian leadership: stop violence, engage in political process," Rasmussen said following a meeting of NATO defense ministers.
The NATO chief said he deeply regretted that the Security Council failed to reach "a legally-binding resolution that could send such a strong message."
"I do believe that this failure ... has sent a wrong and very unfortunate signal to the Syrian leadership. To facilitate a political solution, the international community should put much stronger pressure," he said.
Though Rasmussen claimed NATO defense ministers only talked about military capabilities, the so-called "Smart Defense" initiative, instead of the Syrian crisis, he was still bombarded at the news conference by questions on Syria.
NATO has expressed support for Turkey after mortar bombs fired from Syria killed five Turkish civilians last week, which has triggered reprisal attacks from Turkey.
Rasmussen repeated that the military has all necessary plans in place to defend Turkey if necessary, but urged all parties to show restraints and avoid escalation of the ongoing conflicts between Turkey and neighboring Syria.
"Turkey has a right to defend itself within the international law ... and obviously, Turkey can rely on NATO solidarity."
ANKARA, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Turkey slows down its engagement into the Syrian crisis as Ankara could not get support from international community, Turkish experts said here on Tuesday.
"Turkey was moving fast (on its policies regarding Syrian crisis), but has put on the brake as Ankara could not receive support on its arguments," Prof. Dr. Huseyin Bagci, chairman of Department of International Relations at Middle East Technical University, told Xinhua on Tuesday. Full story