Turkey urges ‘more equal burden sharing’ on refugees

Turkey urges ‘more equal burden sharing’ on refugees

GENEVA-Anadolu Agency
Turkey urges ‘more equal burden sharing’ on refugees

Turkey’s foreign minister said on Dec. 16 that there is an urgent need for expanding third-country solutions to have a “more equitable burden share” of refugees.

"More equitable burden and responsibility sharing are key to help refugees and refugee-hosting countries. It will be the most important message out of the Global Refugee Forum. I believe," said Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in Geneva, Switzerland.

His remarks came during a panel titled The Syrian Refugee Crisis – Delivering in Partnership.

The panel was held on the first day of the three-day Global Refugee Forum.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is scheduled to address the forum on Tuesday.

"We have established new ways of working in partnerships with civil society and partners, and including the EU using its convening power to bring the international community together," Çavuşoğlu said.

He added: "We will organize an international conference together with Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan, with the participation of other relevant actors, including the EU. And we will meet as foreign ministers tomorrow [Tuesday]."

Çavuşoğlu said Turkey had done its best for Syrians in the country since the beginning of the crisis and underscored that more than half a million Syrian babies were born in Turkey.

"However, we didn't create this crisis and shouldn't be the only ones paying for its consequences. There is also an urgent need for expanding third-country solutions, including resettlement opportunities," said the top diplomat.

He pointed out that the European Union has also been at the forefront of the response to the Syrian crisis.

Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on the same panel that refugees are not just numbers, but they are people.

"There are women. Their mother is there and their sons, daughters, and fathers. And they are victims of a vicious crisis. So, I think it is our collective responsibility to make sure that they're not victimized yet again."

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, over 5 million civilians have become refugees. Turkey hosts 3.6 million of them, more than any country in the world.