Damaskus, 8 Jumadil Akhir 1437/18 March 2016 (MINA) – Russia’s military pullout from Syria is welcome and could help slow the flood of refugees causing Europe’s worst migrant crisis in decades, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday.
“I welcome the initiatives taken by the Russian leadership to withdraw from Syria,” Juncker said ahead of a crunch EU leaders summit on the migration crisis.
“It could be easily that this would reduce the number of refugees (coming) to Europe but it is too early to say,” he added. World Bulletin quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised the world when he ordered the withdrawal this week, having launched a massive air campaign in September to help long-time ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regain ground lost to rebels seeking his ouster.
Last year, some 1.2 million people flooded into the European Union, most of them Syrians fleeing via Turkey and Greece, and while the influx has slowed, it continues. (T/P002/R07)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)