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Assad Envoy to Holds Talks with Turkey PM

An envoy of Syrian President Bashar Assad was to hold talks on Wednesday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has been urging the Damascus regime to halt its crackdown on protesters.

Erdogan would host afternoon talks with Hassan Turkmani in Ankara on "the developments in Syria", a government source told Agence France Presse.

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Angelina Jolie Hoping to Visit Syrian Refugees

Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie has asked to visit refugee camps in southern Turkey where thousands of Syrians who fled a crackdown in their homeland are now staying, a Turkish diplomatic source said.

Turkey's foreign ministry was "currently considering the request" by Jolie, who is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations refugees agency (UNHCR), said the source.

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Erdogan Calls Assad, Urges End to Crackdown

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Tuesday and urged him to stop a bloody crackdown on protesters and launch reforms, Anatolia news agency reported.

Erdogan told the Syrian leader to "refrain from violence and end the unrest" that has swept Syria since anti-regime protests erupted in March, the report said.

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Turkey's Ruling Party in Landslide Poll Win

Turkey's ruling Islamist-rooted party clinched a record landslide in Sunday's parliamentary polls but appeared short of the two-thirds majority it needs to rewrite the constitution, unofficial results showed.

With more than 95 percent of the vote counted, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) was leading with 50.3 percent of the vote for a third straight win, according to results on CNN Turk television.

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Syrian Army Attacks Jisr al-Shughour as Britain Calls for ‘Clear’ U.N. Statement

Under the rattle of heavy gunfire and loud explosions, Syrian army troops and tanks moved into a restive northwestern city from two sides Sunday, extending the crackdown on a region that is historically hostile the Damascus regime.

The Local Coordination Committee, which documents Syrian anti-government protests, said Jisr al-Shughour was attacked from the southern and eastern sides by troops in about 200 vehicles, including tanks. It said blasts were heard as helicopters clattered overhead.

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Report: Around 4,300 Syrian Refugee Flood into Turkey

Around 4,300 Syrians who fled a brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protesters are staying in camps in southern Turkey, the Anatolie news agency reported Saturday.

Hundreds have fled in the last 24 hours, the agency said citing local sources.

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Gadhafi Offered Exit 'Guarantees' amid Deadly Clashes

Turkey has offered Moammar Gadhafi guarantees to leave Libya but has yet to receive a reply, as rebels say loyalist forces killed 20 people in a fierce assault on Misrata.

Fresh NATO-led strikes sent up plumes of smoke Friday in Tripoli, where the strongman has his residence and headquarters.

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Assad May Task Jumblat with Mediating with Turkey

Thursday’s meeting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat did not focus on the issue of Lebanon’s cabinet formation process, but rather at the possibility of tasking the Druze leader with “mediating between Syria and Turkey,” whose once warm relations have grown colder over Damascus’ violent crackdown on protesters, MTV reported Friday.

Meanwhile, OTV reported that Assad told Jumblat that “Syria has overcome the dangerous phase and that it has started to contain the situation caused by the conspiracy plotted by some major world powers and Arab states.”

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Vatican Fears Increasingly Unstable Arab World

A Vatican expression of concern over the violence in Syria this week was the latest sign of deep misgivings in Catholic circles about Arab uprisings seen as a threat for Christian minorities.

"The pope has been rather silent on the Arab revolutions," said Marco Politi, a Vatican specialist for Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano.

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Erdogan Accuses Syrian Regime of Committing 'Atrocity'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Syrian regime of perpetrating an "atrocity" against anti-government demonstrators, the Anatolia news agency reported Friday.

"I talked to Mr. Assad (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) four or five days ago. ... But they underestimate the situation," Erdogan told Anatolia.

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