UN calls to support states neighboring Syria with refugees

'This is the time to have massive support for these countries, benefiting both refugees and host communities,' UN's Guterres says

UN calls to support states neighboring Syria with refugees

World Bulletin / News Desk

The United Nations urged the Western and Muslim world to collaborate on the refugee crisis and called for massive support for countries hosting Syrian refugees -- Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon -- to prevent migrants from heading to Europe. 

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) director general William Lacy Swing held a joint press conference in Geneva on Monday about the refugee crisis in Europe. 

 "This is the time to have massive support for these countries benefiting both refugees and host communities and creating a stimulus for these countries also to be able to allow refugees to participate in economic life," said Guterres. 

Roughly half of the Syria’s population has been displaced by the violence, with over 4 million Syrians now seeking refuge in neighboring countries, especially Turkey which hosts around 2 million refugees as well as Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

Indicating that the refugees were not allowed to work legally in any of these countries, Guterres said: "How can you presume that they will be willing to stay in a place where they become poorer and poorer, they cannot work and they do not see a chance for their life."

- West and Muslim world alliance on crises

To overcome refugee crisis in Europe, Guterres said, "a positive relationship between the Western and the Muslim worlds is essential. There is a critical urgency to both counter islamophobia and reduce the appeal of extremist ideologies for younger generations."

"We all know that the issue of migration will not go away," said European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans. "It will be with us permanently. It is our task and our responsibility to make sure that we come to terms with that and we provide solutions to the problems. The solution can only be found at global scale." 

In a response to the question on how to detect terrorists among refugees coming into Europe, Timmermans said: "Simply fingerprinting arrivals by identifying those who are coming in. If you do that properly, you can filter out the terrorists. What l do not like is that some people use this argument against all refugees from everywhere."

- "The lamest excuse"

The argument that terrorists will arrive in Europe among refugees "is the lamest excuse that is being used for not taking international responsibility," he added.

UN figures show that almost 3,000 refugees have died crossing the Mediterranean Sea so far this year, including 246 in the waters between Greece and Turkey.

Some 522,134 people – more than double last year's figure – reached Europe via the Mediterranean, including 388,324 people landing in Greece and 130,891 in Italy.

The largest national group comes from Syria, where refugees flee the four-year civil war.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ekim 2015, 09:15