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Monday, December 17, 2012
Excerpts: Ahmadinejad cancels visit to Turkey. New Turkish plan on Syria December 17, 2012

Excerpts: Ahmadinejad cancels visit to Turkey. New Turkish plan on Syria
December 17, 2012

+++SOURCE: The Syria Report 13 Dec.’12:Kulczyk Oil Declares Force Majeure on
Syria Operations

SUBJECT: Kulezyk Oil closes Syria operations.

TEXT:Kulczyk Oil, an independent oil company, declared last summer force
majeure on its operations in Syria.

+++The Syria Report: 12 Dec.’12:”Corruption Index Lists Syria Among Worst
Performing Globally”

SUBJECT: Syria has high level of corruption.

TEXT: Syria ranked 144th out of 174 countries in an annual survey measuring
the levels of corruption around the globe.

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 17 Dec.’12:”Iran’s Ahmadinejad Cancels Turkey
Visit”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Ahmadinejad cancels visit to Turkey

QUOTE:”Relations between Iran. . .and Turkey. . . have been strained over
the conflict in Syria”

FULL TEXT:Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad canceled a planned Monday[17
Dec.] visit to Turkey, his office said a day after his foreign minister
warned Ankara over hosting Patriot missiles on its border with Syria.

Ahmadinejad had been officially invited to and was scheduled to attend the
annual commemoration ceremony for Mevlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi, the 13th
century Persian Muslim theologian.

He was also to have met Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian
media reported.

But Ahmadinejad canceled his visit because of a "busy schedule," Mehr news
agency quoted the head of his international office, Mohammad Reza Forghani,
as saying.

The cancellation came a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi
warned Turkey over plans to deploy NATO-controlled US-made Patriot missiles
along its border with Syria amid tensions with President Bashar Assad's
regime.

Deploying the missiles in Turkey is a "provocative" action which could have
"uncalculated" results, Salehi said on Sunday[16 Dec,].

On Saturday[15 Dec.], the joint chief of Iran's armed forces General Hassan
Firouzabadi warned that the Patriot deployment was part of a plot to "create
a world war."

Relations between Iran, Assad's main regional ally, and Turkey, a vocal
opponent of the Damascus regime, have been strained over the conflict in
Syria.

Some Iranian officials have accused Turkey of arming Syrian rebels.

SourceAgence France

+++SOURCE: Naharnet(Lebanon) 17 Dec.’12:”Report: Turkey Proposed to Russia
New Plan on Syria”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: New Turkish plan on Syria
QUOTE: ”Turkey has made a new proposal to Russia for an orderly peaceful
transmission”
FULL TEXT:Turkey has made a new proposal to Russia for an orderly peaceful
transition in war-ravaged Syria in the post-regime era, a Turkish newspaper
reported on Monday[17 Dec.].

The proposal calls for President Bashar Assad to step down in the first
three months of 2013 and for the transition process to be undertaken by the
opposition National Coalition, which was recognised as the sole
representative of Syrians by Arab and Western states last week, the Radikal
newspaper reported.

The plan was discussed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting
with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on December 3
and Putin reportedly considered it a "creative formula," according to
Radikal.

Turkey, once an ally of the Damascus regime, has become a fierce critic of
the bloody crackdown on a rebellion that has turned into civil war.

For its part Russia has been one of Assad's few allies, routinely blocking
resolutions against his regime at the U.N. Security Council.

While Erdogan and Putin agreed to disagree on Syria during their talks this
month, Putin has said that Russia's leaders were not "inveterate defenders"
of the current regime in Syria.

Ankara, which has been tightlipped on the new proposal, is seeking to
deprive Assad of Russian and Iranian support, according to the Radikal
newspaper.

The plan is likely to be turned down by Assad but it might change the course
of the 21-month conflict due to the international community's support,
Radikal said, noting that the United States, Egypt, Qatar, Russia and the
United Nations have been debating the Ankara-led proposal over the past 10
days.

During a visit to Turkey on December 7, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said that he
has "taken note" of the Istanbul summit where Putin and Erdogan discussed
"new ideas" on how to respond to the Syrian crisis.

Ban told reporters in Ankara that he hoped the new strategies would be very
closely coordinated with U.N. peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, so that
there would be a consensus of views among the international community.

SourceAgence France Presse

==========
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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