UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Turkey over Mounting Tensions with Syria. - Reuters
UN and Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is to arrive in Turkey over mounting tensions with Syria.
The veteran Algerian diplomat will listen to the Turkish side of the story for the crisis which escalated after five civilians were killed in the border region.
The 78-year-old is likely to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul but no concrete agenda has been set for the meeting. This is Brahimi's second visit to Turkey.
Brahimi's stopover in Turkey follows his visit to Saudi Arabia where he held talks with top officials over the Syrian crisis.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been accusing Saudi Arabia of supplying arms to the rebels which the kingdom has denied.
Reports suggest Brahimi may visit Damascus in the coming weeks in his efforts in bring peace to the region.
Syria and Turkey are technically not at war but both sides have been involved in fierce clashes in the past few weeks.
Brahimi's visit comes at a time when Ankara is strengthening its military presence on the Syrian border. Dozens of tanks and fighter jets have been deployed amid fears that the conflict could escalate.
Turkey has been flexing its muscles not only to silence its neighbour but also not to be seen as weak within the country, say experts.
Ankara has been responding with strongly worded statements as Assad's troops continue to pound on rebel-held areas near the border.
Some analysts also believe that if Syrian troops carry on shelling the border areas, it would amount to an unwarranted invitation by Damascus to a war.
Ankara recently charged that a Syria-bound passenger aircraft carried defence equipment allegedly supplied by Russia. Although both Damascus and Moscow denied this, Turkey is not convinced.
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