Erdogan Urges West to Help With Refugees

Belgrade,  19 Rajab 1437/27 April 2016 (MINA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used a two-day visit to Croatia to call for more help in dealing with millions of refugees in Turkey.

“The West should provide a different kind of assistance to Turkey as a humanitarian and conscientious duty,” he said at a news conference with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in capital Zagreb.

“Turkey will never close its doors to refugees from Syria,” Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

Turkey currently hosts 2.7 million Syrian refugees, as well as hundreds of thousands from troubled states such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Erdogan is visiting Croatia to boost economic ties in the Balkans. “I want to emphasize the fact that our economic relations need to increase and improve,” he said. “Our goal is to reach a billion dollar trade volume.”

The Turkish president also highlighted links between Turkey, Croatia and Bosnia. “Common policy in the Balkans is very important and today we talked about it,” he told reporters. “It is very important for the future peace and stability of the Balkans and in this context Turkey, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina can create a strong trilateral mechanism”.

After welcoming Erdogan and the group of government ministers and business leaders accompanying him, Grabar-Kitarovic said there was “huge space” for further cooperation with Turkey, particularly in the area of Croatian exports to Turkey and energy.

She indicated Croatia would use its experience of joining the EU to help speed up Turkey’s integration. The former Yugoslav republic joined the EU in 2013.

On Wednesday, a delegation from the Turkish government, which includes Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, EU Minister Volkan Bozkir, Economy Minister Mustafa Elitas and Culture and Tourism Minister Mahir Unal, will attend a Turkey-Croatia business forum.(T/P008/R04)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)