Turkey aims to work with EU to tackle refugee crisis

'Turkey prevented migration to Europe by hosting scores of Syrian refugees,' Turkish FM Sinirlioglu says

Turkey aims to work with EU to tackle refugee crisis

World Bulletin / News Desk

The international community should share responsibility in providing assistance to Syrian refugees, Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu said in Luxembourg on Saturday.

Sinirlioglu said that Turkey had spent more than $6 billion on Syrian refugees while the international community in comparison spent only $417 million.

He said that the number of refugees worldwide had reached 60 million, adding that Turkey had been a transit country for refugees before, but now it was a target country for them.

Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also said that Turkey was hosting some two million refugees while EU member states could not agree on hosting even the initial 60,000 people proposed by the European Commission.

At a joint press conference with Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, Mogherini said that the crisis could affect other member countries.

 "It affects all of us. A few months ago, it was Italy, Greece and Malta. Now it is Hungary and it could [be the] turn of other member states in the future," Mogherini said after a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers.

"Turkey is the country which has accepted the most refugees in the world, so we cannot give any lesson to Turkey," Asselborn said.

About the refugees, he said that out of 300,000 migrants, 46 percent were Syrians and 12 percent were Afghans who came to Europe since January 2015.

Earlier on Thursday, Sinirlioglu had called on the European Union to work together to tackle the refugee crisis engulfing the continent. 

“Luxembourg, as the term president of the EU, has important responsibilities at the moment. There is a big challenge with migration, which is also a big challenge for Turkey," Sinirlioglu said.

The Turkish interim foreign minister arrived in Luxembourg on Friday to attend an informal meeting of foreign ministers, in which the refugee crisis is high on the agenda.

The meeting came after 12 Syrian refugees, including eight children, drowned off the coast of the Turkish resort town of Bodrum early Wednesday after their boat en route to the Greek islands sank in the Aegean Sea.

Europe is facing the biggest refugee crisis in decades, with thousands of asylum seekers from Middle Eastern and African countries trying to reach western Europe.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Eylül 2015, 09:06