Turkey Tries To Play Dove In Iraq Conflict

Award-winning Chicago journalist Dave Savini serves as investigative reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. Savini, whose exclusive investigations have earned him broadcast journalism's top honors, began work at CBS 2 in July 2004. He was recently awarded broadcast journalism's most coveted national award, a 2008 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for his investigation exposing gaping holes in security at O'Hare International Airport. CBS 2 Chicago

After testing the waters in a series of meetings with Iraq's neighbors, Turkey's prime minister took the plunge with a high-stakes diplomatic effort to form a coalition -- not to fight a war, but to avoid one.

As CBS News Correspondent Richard Roth reports, Turkey's calling for a summit in Ankara a week from today with leaders from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Jordan and Egypt.

"We do not want to give up hope or leave any stone unturned for a peaceful solution," said Yasar Yakis, the Turkish foreign minister.

The Turkish plan is for a joint declaration addressed to Iraq and the U.S.: in effect, a homegrown peace proposal by the countries closest to the conflict.

So far described as a "set of ideas," sources say in addition to stipulating Iraq give up any banned weapons, it calls for what amounts to a new Iraq within existing borders, with more openness and democracy.

The implication is: Saddam wouldn't be there to lead it.

But Turkey's foreign minister insists that's not on the agenda.

"The initiative, the search for peace is not based on the scenario of an exile, voluntary or forced exile, for Saddam Hussein," says Yakis.

An Arab diplomat today told CBS News, "We could urge Saddam to give up power - but without American guarantees on what would happen next to Iraq and to Saddam personally, even our voices won't carry any weight."
  • Sue Chan

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