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Turkey delivers a final warning to Syria

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was in the Syrian capital on Tuesday for make-or-break talks with President Bashar al-Assad during which he pressed the Syrian leader to halt assaults on protests against his rule, while bluntly warning that the continuation of violence against its own citizens would inevitably endanger his own regime as well as lead to the loss of Turkey’s friendship.

However, even as the meeting was in progress, Syrian forces moved into a town near the Turkish border and killed at least five civilians, activists and witnesses said.

Still, if Davutoğlu returns empty-handed, Erdoğan faces the prospect of ditching a friendship he has carefully nurtured over the past decade, leaving Assad more isolated and dependent on Iranian support than ever. (9 August 2011, Tuesday)

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