Türkİye, Middle East

Refugees returning home key to resolving Syrian crisis: Turkish diplomat

‘Facilitation of the return of refugees should be an integral part of the overall efforts for the settlement of the Syrian crisis,’ says Sedat Onal

Selen Temizer   | 11.05.2022
Refugees returning home key to resolving Syrian crisis: Turkish diplomat ( İzzet Mazi - Anadolu Ajansı )

BRUSSELS 

A top Turkish diplomat on Tuesday stressed the importance of facilitating the return of Syrians to their homeland to resolve the Syrian crisis. 

“While addressing the needs of Syrian refugees and host countries, we should also aim at creating conditions conducive to the return of refugees in a safe, voluntary and dignified manner,” said Turkiye’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, speaking at the sixth Brussels Conference on ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the Region’ in the Belgian capital.

Onal noted that Turkiye has facilitated the voluntary return of nearly 500,000 Syrians to stabilized areas and efforts are underway to increase collaboration with neighboring countries as well as with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

“The return of refugees cannot be taken up in isolation from the larger political context. A rigid sequential and conditional approach between the two tracks has not proven to be useful so far. Therefore, facilitation of the return of refugees should be an integral part of the overall efforts for the settlement of the Syrian crisis,” he added.

Onal also called on all Turkiye’s partners to seize the moment and step up efforts to revitalize the political process in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254.

“In order for this to happen, we should be able to address all aspects of the Syrian settlement in a synchronized and holistic approach, including the humanitarian dimension,” he said.

Recalling that Turkiye is providing temporary protection to nearly 3.7 million Syrians through assistance in various fields such as education, health care and shelter, he underlined that “the scale and magnitude of this effort calls for greater international solidarity and burden-sharing.”

Meanwhile, pointing out that the humanitarian conditions in Syria have worsened, he emphasized that the UN cross-border mechanism has proven itself as a life-saving instrument.

“It consistently reached out to 2.4 million people on a monthly basis in an accountable and transparent manner. The scale and efficiency of its operations cannot be substituted. Therefore, the renewal of the UN Security Council mandate will be essential,” he added.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan

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