Ankara slams British foreign secretary’s statements over refugees

Ankara slams British foreign secretary’s statements over refugees

Ankara slams British foreign secretary’s statements over refugees

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has slammed British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ statement that she will seek an agreement with Türkiye on asylum partnership just like London did with Rwanda, saying the country cannot be considered a refugee camp.

“There was news in the United Kingdom press that Elizabeth Truss, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, may demand an agreement with Türkiye similar to the agreement done with Rwanda on asylum partnership. We hope that these claims that were published in reference to Ms. Truss are baseless,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç said in a written statement late on July 16.

Truss is among contenders for the leadership of the British Conservative Party, thus for the Downing No 10 in the aftermath of the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Truss was speaking about how she would resolve the growing migration problem if she is elected as the prime minister. The United Kingdom and Rwanda made a recent deal on asylum partnership that stipulates the latter host a certain number of refugees on its soil in return for financial gains.

Türkiye has already been hosting the largest number of refugees in the world for the last eight years. Therefore, it is out of the question for Türkiye to shoulder more burden or to be a part of an initiative, at third countries’ request, that does not comply with international regulations on right to asylum,” Bilgiç stated.

“Türkiye will neither be a refugee camp nor a border guard for any country. Türkiye will in no circumstances take over third countries’ international obligations. Besides, we had already shared our position publicly last year following similar news published on Afghan refugees,” he said.

“Accordingly, we invite all countries to fulfill their international obligations and assume equal responsibility on migration issues.”