Jordan King: Only inclusive transition will stop conflict in Syria
ANKARA - Jordan's King Abdullah II called on the Syrian regime Tuesday to move towards an "inclusive transition" to prevent the breakup of the war-torn country.
"Only an inclusive transition will stop sectarian conflict and avoid fragmentation of Syria," the king said at a press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
King Abdullah said there was an "urgent need" for a political transition to stop the bloodshed and "preserve the territorial integrity" of Syria, where the nearly two-year-old conflict has claimed around 70,000 lives according to UN figures.
Gul said the conflict has sent half a million refugees to neighbouring Jordan and Turkey, where leaders frequently call for international aid to cope with an influx that has drained their emergency resources.
The United Nations is calling for $1.5 billion (750 million euros) to help through June nearly one million Syrian refugees and four million other Syrians affected by the conflict but who remain the country.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has registered 500,000 Syrian refugees and expects nearly a million more by June -- figures that represent 4.4 percent of the pre-crisis population.
The Jordanian king is to visit Turkish businessmen and defence industry facilities in the Turkish capital on Wednesday.