UNHCR grateful for Turkey's strong partnership: Official

Filippo Grandi received by Turkish president, discusses issues related to Syria, Afghanistan.

UNHCR grateful for Turkey's strong partnership: Official

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, "is grateful for its strong partnership" with Turkey, an official said Wednesday. 

Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, arrived in Turkey for a working visit on Sept. 7 and was received by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.

Grandi said on Twitter that he held discussions with Erdogan on solutions "for Syrian refugees in Turkey and in the region, and on the need to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

"The UNHCR is grateful for its strong partnership with Turkey in both endeavors," he added.

Separately, Grandi also met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in the capital Ankara.

Thanking Cavusoglu "for a good discussion on issues of forced displacement in Turkey and the region," Grandi said social media that "with Syria’s refugee crisis in its 11th year and Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation deteriorating, we must strengthen responses and accelerate the search for solutions."

For his part, Cavusoglu after the meeting on Twitter said: "Migration is a common issue in all countries. Fair burden and responsibility sharing is a must."

Earlier Wednesday, Grandi also met with Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Describing the meeting as a good one, Grandi said on Twitter that he and Soylu had "discussed how to address Turkey’s growing migratory challenges as it continues to host a large population of Syrian, Afghan and other refugees."

"More international help is needed!" he added.

Grandi is also expected to visit Sanliurfa and Gaziantep provinces.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

Turkey, which already hosts 4 million refugees -- more than any country in the world -- is taking new security measures within and on its borders to prevent a fresh influx of migrants.

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Hüseyin Demir

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