“If this [migration] is a global problem, we must work together as the international community to solve it,” Cavushoglu told journalists in the southern Turkish resort city of Antalya.
The international community is showing “better support” for the safe return of refugees to their countries of origin, he said. “We have now started to receive better support from the international community for the safe return of refugees to their countries. They have understood how serious this issue is,” the minister stated.
Turkey works with the U.N. high commissioner for refugees to repatriate refugees to their countries, especially Syria, Cavushoglu said, adding that the initiative has been started by Syria’s neighboring countries that are hosting the majority of Syrian refugees, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.
He stressed the need to pursue projects that create employment and provide returnees’ access to quality education, health care and employment, as done in Syria’s northwestern Idlib region.
Europe has been against the reconstruction of Syria due to ongoing civil war, Cavushoglu said, adding, “It was right. Rebuilding a country or a place while the war continues is unrealistic. We all have a clear stance on the [Assad] regime, but meeting basic needs on the ground is not rebuilding a country.”
But the situation in Afghanistan is different from Syria, he emphasized. “Due to the current situation there, it is neither right nor possible to send people [back] immediately. We have no interlocutors. We were already sending Afghans to Afghanistan by planes in the previous administration period. We send to Pakistan as well. After all, this is a problem, a problem all over the world,” the minister said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused this problem to increase and forced more people to leave their countries, Cavushoglu noted.