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FM says claims of Turkey-Israel pact against Syria 'groundless'

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Turkey's foreign minister on Saturday hit back at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's claims in an interview that Ankara made a pact with Israel against Damascus.

"Such arguments like Turkey is in cooperation with Israel against Syria have no grounds," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

"Turkey never speaks to Israel or any other third party about its neighbours," he said. "This is not something that should be taken seriously."

Assad slammed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview conducted this week with two Turkish media outlets, accusing Ankara of "contributing directly to the killing of the Syrian people."

In extracts published on Wednesday, Assad said: "Erdogan is working with Israel to destroy Syria... but the Syrian state has not fallen and the Syrian people have resisted.

"We cannot allow idiot, immature leaders to destroy relations (between the Turks and the Arabs)."

Turkey, a one-time Syria ally now vehemently opposed to Assad's regime, has backed the two-year-old revolt against Assad, and hosts large numbers of refugees, as well as the exiled Syrian opposition and military leadership.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130406/fm-says-claims-turkey-israel-pact-against-syria-groundless