Annan to visit Syrian refugees in Turkey before Iran
GENEVA (Reuters) - International mediator Kofi Annan will visit a camp for Syrian refugees in Turkey on Tuesday en route for talks with senior officials in Iran, his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said on Monday.
"Mr Annan will visit a refugee camp in Turkey tomorrow (Tuesday) on his way to Iran," Fawzi told Reuters in Geneva.
Annan will visit Syrian refugees staying in a camp in Hatay, he said. Thousands of Syrian refugees are sheltering in eight camps set up in Turkey's southern provinces of Hatay and Gaziantep, and others have crossed into Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
"At the moment we have 24,000 Syrians who have entered Turkey. Of course this number is rising," Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday before departing on a trip to China.
Two Syrian refugees and one Turkish translator were wounded on Monday when the Kilis border refugee camp in Gaziantep province came under fire from the Syrian side of the border, a Turkish foreign ministry official said.
Annan has put forward a six-point peace plan for ending the year-long fighting that lays down a deadline for Syria to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from towns on Tuesday, followed by a ceasefire by both Syrian forces and opposition fighters 48 hours later on April 12.
Syria on Sunday demanded written guarantees that insurgents would stop fighting before it would pull back its troops under the terms of his plan, and a rebel leader said the initiative was doomed.
Annan, in a statement issued later on Sunday, said an "unacceptable" escalation in violence in Syria violated guarantees made to him and called on Damascus to keep its promises to end the bloodshed.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay Editing by Tim Pearce)
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