Turkish Foreign Minister blames Assad for Syrian refugee crisis


Feridun Sinirlioglu during a press conference with his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz [left]

Turkey cannot prevent all Syrian refugees from risking their lives in order to cross into Europe, Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu said on Saturday.

“We cannot solve this problem through security precautions. Turkey, of course, will take every security measure but we need to eradicate the causes of this problem,” Sinirlioglu told a press conference in Ankara alongside his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz.

Turkey hosts the highest number of refugees in the world. According to the UN, there are 1.9 million Syrian refugees registered in Turkey alone as of August 25.

Sinirlioglu also said that Turkey had saved more than 50,000 people from being drowned in the Aegean Sea.

During the press meeting, Kurz voiced his support for the creation of safe zone inside Syria.

In the face of the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, Austria reintroduced border checks in an attempt to manage the crisis.

Europe, which is facing what is being described as the worst refugee crisis in the continent since the World War II, recently decided to accept up to 140,000 refugees.

Kurz said Austria appreciated Turkey’s efforts to host more than two million Syrian refugees.

The Turkish foreign minister ruled out Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad being part of a political solution to the five-year-old civil war which has left tens of thousands of people dead and millions displaced.

“Assad is the source of all these problems. A tyrant who declared war on his people cannot take a part in the political solution,” Sinirlioglu said.


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