Clinton to make working visit to Turkey amid escalating Syria crisis

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a news conference at the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) in İstanbul on June 7, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

August 05, 2012, Sunday/ 12:00:00

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to make an official visit to Turkey on Aug. 11 to hold talks focusing on the Syrian crisis, which has recently reached the proportions of a civil war, and a number of other regional issues.

"Secretary Clinton will go to İstanbul for bilateral consultations with the Turkish government on Syria, as well as to cover other timely issues," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland explained on Sunday.

A Turkish diplomatic official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated to Today's Zaman that it would be a working visit to canvass several international and regional issues on which the US and Turkey are cooperating, with an emphasis on Syria.

Clinton's scheduled talks will form part of renewed international efforts to tackle the escalating crisis in Syria, where forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are fighting to put down a rebellion. The visit to Turkey will follow Clinton's current Africa tour, which takes her to Nigeria, Ghana and Benin next week.

Hopes for a resolution of the conflict in Syria have dimmed since the UN-Arab League joint special envoy resigned from his post, frustrated over the escalated civil war situation in Syria and paralysis of the UN Security Council over peace efforts.

On Friday, the UN General Assembly accepted a resolution with 133 votes emphasizing the need to initialize a transitional political process in the country, as well as condemning severe and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian regime against the opposition.

The resolution was jointly presented to the assembly by around 60 countries, including Turkey.