Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu calls for more int’l assistance for Syrian refugees

Photo: Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu calls for more int’l assistance for Syrian refugees / Turkey

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has urged the U.N. Security Council to implement an earlier resolution to facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Syria, speaking during a press conference in Zaatari Refugee Camp May 4, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Davutoglu met with the foreign ministers of Syria's neighboring countries - Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon - and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, as well as officials from Egypt, at the largest refugee camp sheltering Syrians fleeing their country in northeastern Jordan. He called for "more support" from other countries.

He stressed not only that millions of refugees have fled from Syria, but also that millions of people have been displaced inside the war-torn country. "There around 5.5 million internally displaced persons in Syria ... and humanitarian aid must be allowed in for them," Davutoglu said, appealing to the United Nations.

"The Syrian regime does not allow relief aid in and the United Nations is doing nothing about it," he added.

Davutoglu said Turkey wanted the refugees to remain in Syria, but could not deny access to its territory due to its "open borders policy."

The U.N. refugee chief also criticized the international community for "not contributing enough" to solve the issue.

"Let me be very clear, there has been very little support. There must be massive support from the international community at the level of government budgets and development projects related to education, health, water and infrastructure," Guterres said.

He stressed that the problem of refugees was not only the responsibility of regional countries, but of "all countries in the world."

"To share the responsibility that has fallen upon the neighboring countries, every country should open its doors to Syrian refugees," Guterres added.

"[Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan] have received about 3 million registered and unregistered Syrian refugees in total ... the truth is that this enormous impact is not being fully recognized by the international community," he added.

Echoing Davutoglu, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh also appealed to the international community to "shoulder its responsibility" toward the Syrian refugees and their host countries.

"It is clear that this problem, which has become a humanitarian disaster, cannot be solved only with humanitarian assistance. This is why, as Jordan, we believe that reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis is indispensable," Judeh said.

Over 900,000 Syrians have taken shelter in Turkey, according to official numbers. Camps are now insufficient for hosting all the refugees and many families have moved to Turkey's bigger cities, where many beg on the roadsides to survive.

The U.N. estimates that there are now nearly 2.7 million Syrians registered in neighboring countries.
The Zaatari camp alone, where the meeting between the dignataries took place over the weekend, hosts more than 110,000 Syrian refugees.

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