EU will not close its doors to refugees: EU term president

EU will not close its doors to refugees: EU term president

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
EU will not close its doors to refugees: EU term president

AP photo

The European Union will not close its borders to refugees, its term president Luxemburg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has said in Ankara, while noting that the EU is working on financial aid for Turkey to contain Syrian refugees within the country. 

“We will not close our doors. We will establish an admission mechanism. EU member states should receive refugees in an equal way, otherwise we will not be able to handle this case”” Asselborn said, speaking at a press conference with his Turkish counterpart Feridun Sinirlioglu on Sept. 18. 

“Wire fences cannot be a solution of this crisis. The EU’s response should be solidarity,” he added. 

The EU is currently working on a financial package for Turkey to deal with the refugee crisis, Asselborn said, while stressing that it does not aim to stop refugees by simply “giving money to Turkey.”

The EU ministers for refugees will hold a meeting next Tuesday and then the European Council will gather to draw up the EU’s policy on refugees, Asselborn said, noting that they will also discuss aid for Turkey. 

“I don’t want to be misunderstood: I am not talking about keeping them in Turkey. But we have to give financial assistance. Turkey has taken on a big responsibility and it’s our duty as the EU to help,” he added. 

Asked about whether Turkey wanted to host all refugees or allow them to cross into Europe, Minister Sinirlioğlu said they all have “free will.” 

“We have to help them go wherever they want, but in an orderly way. Turkey does not have a policy of locking these people in,” the Turkish foreign minister said. 

He also stressed that all parties should prioritize eliminating conditions in Syria that caused people to flee the country in the first place, emphasizing a “political solution.”