Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister: West should do more for Syria refugees
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru has called on Western countries to do more to help refugees from Syria and share the burden on neighboring countries hosting millions of them Anadolu Agency reported
Speaking to the Anadolu Agency as he attended the "Conference on the Syrian Refugee Situation - Supporting Stability in the Region" in Berlin, Koru said a heavy burden was being borne by Syria's neighbors and said nations like Lebanon and Jordan, which were already overstretched, were concerned about security and stability.
He said: "Turkey is hosting more than 1.5 million Syrians and so far has spent more than $4 billion. Unfortunately, we only received $200 million to $250 million from abroad."
"Western countries bear great responsibility. They should provide more assistance."
- Raise expectations
He went on: "As Turkey, we maintain an open door policy for Syrians fleeing from the violence in their country, despite all the challenges."
"What is important is to create safe areas within Syria, provide habitation there and deliver international aid to Syrians through these safe areas," Koru added.
Koru said that Turkey's continuing efforts to provide humanitarian relief to the northern parts of Syria through "zero point delivery" at the border had raised Ankara's expectations that Western countries would join the efforts."
"At the Berlin conference on Tuesday, we told representatives from Western countries to make these humanitarian deliveries together with us from the zero point at the border," he also said.
- No targets
Following the close of the conference hosted by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, 40 countries and organizations promised to increase medium and long-term support for Syrian refugees.
It brought together ministers from Syria's neighbors, including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and the permanent members of the UN Security Council; U.S., Russia, China, U.K. and France, and leading donor countries, Canada and Sweden.
A joint statement issued afterwards underlined the "need to provide increased funding" for supporting the Syrian refugees and called for "substantially increasing" the resettlement of refugees in Western countries.
However, it did not include any specific targets.