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Turkish PM: Syrian leader 'mute devil'

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 24, 2013 at 6:47 am •  Published: February 24, 2013

The comments came just hours before the new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to begin his first official overseas trip that will include talks with NATO allies, including Turkey, on ways to end nearly two years of bloodshed in Syria that has claimed at least 70,000 lives.

The U.S. and Western allies have resisted rebel appeals to supply heavy arms, fearing the weapons could escalate the civil war and possibly fall into the hands of Islamist militant factions that have joined the fight against Assad.

"We cannot remain silent," said Erdogan, a keynote speaker at the conference to examine government media strategies and outreach.