A new wave of Syrian refugees can be prevented only with the exit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Daesh's elimination, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday.
"What we need to do is to have solidarity with all the countries, including Russia, to make a transition in Syria, a peaceful transition," Davutoglu told a press conference on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. "In the new Syria, there should not be any place for neither Assad nor Daesh."
The Syrian conflict now in its fifth year, has resulted in the deaths of at least 250,000 people, created one of the largest refugee exoduses since the Second World War and caused a security vacuum that paved the way for extremist groups such as Daesh to gain a foothold in the region.
Russia is a staunch ally of Assad.
"The refugee issue, at the beginning of this crisis, had been seen by the international community as a Syrian crisis. Later it was seen as a Turkish or neighboring countries’ crisis. But now it is clear that the refugee issue is a global crisis, a crisis that we cannot ignore. A crisis which we cannot forget," Davutoglu said.
"The only way to prevent a new wave of refugees is to prevent atrocities committed by the Syrian regime and to prevent terrorist organizations like Daesh," he added.
Assad and Daesh are "two evils supporting each other," he said.
The UN refugee agency says 95 percent of the latest million Syrian refugees have gone to Turkey, which has become the world's largest refugee-hosting country. It is home to more than 2 million registered Syrian refugees.
Davutoglu also reiterated Turkey's call for a safe zone to be created inside Syria to deal with the current refugee crisis.
"We have been telling this for the last three years, but unfortunately that voice of Turkey was not heard enough by the international community. At least I can say now there is a general understanding that refugee issues should be solved inside Syria if possible."
Regarding Daesh, Davutoglu said, "Turkey is ready to cooperate with any country to fight against ISIS, because ISIS is a threat to all of us. But we should not forget that there was no ISIS three years ago. Who created ISIS? Assad's atrocities, war crimes created ISIS, created a power vacuum." ISIS is an English acronym for the militant group.
He also said Daesh and the Assad regime tried to gain legitimacy by using each other - with Daesh telling Sunnis that they should unite against Assad's atrocities and the regime telling the international community that it is needed for any fight against the militants.
"No assad, no ISIS. That should be the future of Syria. For the last four years, this has not been the case," said Davutoglu.