Turkey reiterates support for Poland, Latvia, Lithuania amid refugee flux

In statement, Foreign Ministry says Turkey refuses to be 'portrayed as part of' problem to which it is not party.

Turkey reiterates support for Poland, Latvia, Lithuania amid refugee flux

Turkey on Thursday reiterated its support for Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania amid a refugee flux on their borders with Belarus.

"We are saddened to see that necessary measures are not taken in terms of the illegal passing of third country citizens to our allies Poland, Lithuania and Latvia through Belarus soils and they are left in harsh conditions on border regions," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

This "multidimensional problem" could erode the international refugee protection regime that draws on the Geneva Convention, the ministry said, noting that the latest developments were transpiring amid the 70th anniversary of the convention relating to the status of refugees.

Stressing that Turkey has been hosting the highest number of refugees in the world for the last ten years, it reiterated that the country "gives full support to its allies, as a country which understands the challenges Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have been exposed to."

However, it said that Turkey refused to be "portrayed as part of a problem" to which it is not a party.

"We find it to be intentional that a globally prominent company like Turkish Airlines, is targeted even though information on this issue is shared transparently," the ministry said.

"Turkey emphasizes the importance of taking the necessary steps for the fight against irregular migration and human trafficking on every occasion and calls for the international community to be responsible and sensible towards this issue," it added.

The ministry also said that Turkey hopes that the concerned parties solve the issue "in moderation," emphasizing that Ankara is ready to "give all necessary support in order to overcome this issue."

Turkey already hosts over 4 million refugees, more than any country in the world, and has enhanced security measures on its borders to humanely prevent a fresh influx of migrants.

Hüseyin Demir

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