Turkey has “no luxury” to turn its back on Afghanistan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.
“It is our common wish that Afghanistan achieves lasting peace and stability,” Erdogan told a meeting of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member States.
“We do not have the luxury of turning our backs on the Afghan people,” he added.
Since the Taliban took power, Turkey and Turkish aid groups have sent extensive aid to the people of Afghanistan, with Turkish officials warning about the humanitarian situation in the country.
Read more: Why Turkey was so keen to protect Kabul Airport?
On the Syrian crisis, Erdogan accused the UN Security Council of not fulfilling its duties, saying it has turned into “a great disappointment.”
He added that countries like Turkey, which are neighbors to crisis regions, “bear the real burden on the issue of migration and refugees, rather than the Western countries who loud on the matter.”
Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution such as the Syrian civil war that began in early 2011.
Turkey hosts the highest numbers of refugees in the world, mainly Syrians.
In the meeting today we discussed challenges resulting from the situation in Afghanistan and other areas of concern – challenges that can only be solved by working together.
🇪🇺 🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/brzystFYls
— Ylva Johansson (@YlvaJohansson) October 12, 2021
The country already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any country in the world, amid signs that a new wave of Afghan refugees might head towards Turkey and the EU.
Regarding permanent peace and stability for the Israel-Palestine conflict, Erdogan said it can only be resolved with the establishment of an “independent, sovereign, and territorially integrated” Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“To make the Palestinians pay the price of the genocide against the Jews in Europe during World War II is unfair and unscrupulous,” he said.
Read more: Will post-Erdogan Turkey move from Islamist to secularist authoritarianism?
The president also mentioned Turkey’s help to other countries during the coronavirus pandemic by saying that it had delivered aid to 160 countries and 12 international organizations in need, as well as supplied vaccines to 11 countries.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk