Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that Turkey has been working with Syria's neighboring countries and the United Nations for the return of refugees, mainly Syrians, to their countries.
Speaking at an event in the Mediterranean province of Antalya on Sept. 12, Çavuşoğlu said that the international community has increased its support for the refugees' safe return.
“We have now started to receive better support from the international community for the safe return of refugees to their countries. They have understood how serious this issue is,” the minister said.
“We are working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to repatriate refugees to their countries, especially Syria.”
He said the initiative has been started by Syria’s neighboring countries that are hosting the majority of Syrian refugees, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.
Çavuşoğlu noted the need to pursue projects that create employment and provide those who return with access to quality education and healthcare.
Europe has been against the reconstruction of Syria, he claimed.
“It’s true, rebuilding a country or a place while the war continues is unrealistic. We all have a clear stance on the Assad regime, but meeting basic needs on the ground is not rebuilding a country,” he said.
“The same is true for Afghanistan, but due to the current situation there, it is neither right nor possible to send people back immediately.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent economic difficulties have forced more people to leave their countries.
“If migration is a global problem, we must work together as the international community to solve it,” Çavuşoğlu said.