Turkey had “fruitful” talks with officials from UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva on Monday over the voluntary repatriation of Syrians, said a Turkish official.
“This situation is not sustainable any more. So, we met today as two delegations, as two teams. We addressed these problems in a long and fruitful discussion,” Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kiran told Anadolu Agency over the meeting.
Kiran said Turkey wants to host the second meeting.
On the Global Refugee Forum to be held in Geneva on Dec. 17-18, he said Turkey views the the event as an important step to prevent the delay of the planned international donors forum over the voluntary return of Syrians.
“We want to move fast,” Kiran added.
“Inflicting the burden of the refugees only on a few countries is not a sustainable, endurable and tolerable situation,” he stated.
Turkey has taken exemplary steps and made great efforts over the issue, the official stressed.
He said Turkey has spent over $40 billion for the refugees in Turkey.
“The legitimacy and necessity of the return of the refugees are not questionable anymore,” Kiran stressed.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, over 5 million civilians have become refugees. Turkey hosts 3.6 million of them, more than any country in the world.
*Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara
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