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McCully condemns civilian deaths in Turkey

Thursday 4 October 2012, 7:35PM
By Murray McCully
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Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today condemned a mortar attack from Syria into Turkey that led to the deaths of five Turkish civilians in the border town of Akcakale.

Mr McCully says that while this is the latest in a series of incidents where violence from Syria has crossed the border, it is the first in which Turkish civilians have been killed.

“Our thoughts go out to the families of those killed and wounded in this attack,” Mr McCully says.

“We welcome Turkey’s continued efforts to work in close partnership with the international community to resolve the Syrian crisis.  As an immediate neighbour and a key regional power, Turkey will play an important role in achieving a peaceful solution and political transition in Syria.”

Mr McCully also acknowledged Turkey’s humanitarian response in accommodating thousands of refugees who continue to flee Syria.

New Zealand has given $1 million to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to assist Syrian refugees in Turkey.