Turkey calls for world coordination on Syrian refugee crisis

BEIRUT, Weedah Hamzah (dpa)- Turkey on Friday called for global coordination to solve the crisis of hundreds of thousands of Syrians turned into refugees due to the years-long war in their homeland.
Turkey hosts 4 million refugees, the largest number staying in any single country in the world. More than 3.6 million of these came from neighbouring Syria after a devastating conflict began there in 2011.

"We need to coordinate with the international community to help solve the Syrian refugee crisis in a secure and safe way," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said through an interpreter at a press conference in Beirut on Friday.
He said the international community has to be more sensitive when it comes to the basic needs of those Syrians who return to Syria, and offered to set up a joint forum with Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq - other neighbours of Syria.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Jubran Bassil told the same presser that there should be close coordination between Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan to find "the right solution" for the return of Syrians refugees to their country.
"Lebanon is always committed to the dignified return of the Syrian refugees to their country," Bassil said.
Lebanon has some 1 million registered Syrian refugees.
Lebanese officials have repeatedly said that the influx of refugees from Syria placed a massive burden on the country's ailing economy.
Cavusoglu arrived in Beirut earlier Friday and met Lebanese President Michel Aoun and House Speaker Nabih Berri.
He is due to hold talks later Friday with Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
Turkey, a main backer of the Syrian opposition, has set up 12 observation posts in Syria's north-western province of Idlib since a truce deal was reached in September between Moscow and Ankara to establish a demilitarized buffer zone in the Idlib enclave. 
The September agreement provides for the creation of a 15-to-20-kilometre-wide buffer zone to separate government troops and rebels in Idlib and adjacent areas.
The Russian-Turkish deal has since been repeatedly violated amid an exchange of blame between the Syrian government and the opposition.

Friday, August 23rd 2019
Weedah Hamzah (dpa)

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