United Nations, Jan 6: Turkey's foreign minister says the main obstacle to holding peace negotiations on Syria later this month is the cease-fire violations. He has called on the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on those refusing to stop the violence.
Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters at UN headquarters where he discussed Syria with new Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that if the talks go ahead in Kazakhstan's capital Astana they will be based on a roadmap to peace agreed to by key powers in Geneva in 2012.
He said the latest list he received on Thursday only has violations by pro-government supporters not a single one by the opposition.
"This is not acceptable...So this is the main obstacle," Cavusoglu said.
On Tuesday, Syria's ceasefire appeared under threat as government forces intensified their attacks near Damascus and around 10 rebel groups said they were suspending talks about planned peace negotiations this month. The talks are due to take place in the Kazakh capital Astana in late January but the rebels said they were pulling out of discussions due to "violations" by Damascus of a four-day old truce.
[Also read: Syria: Ceasefire under threat]
Turkey and Russia brokered the cease-fire and are monitoring the violations.