Turkey to discuss aid to Syria in UN meeting

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Turkey plans to dicsuss on September the ways to supply humanitarian aid to war-torn Syria in a UN conference in Geneva with the neighboring countries. Foreign Ministry spokesman says the best way would be to find a solution within the Syrian territory

A United Nations meeting, with the participation of neighboring countries to Syria, is planned to take place in Geneva in September to focus on humanitarian aid for conflict-hit country, Spokesperson of Foreign Ministry of Affairs Levent Gümrükçü said yesterday at a press conference.

The meeting will discuss ways to meet the humanitarian needs of fleeing Syrians within the Syrian territory, an initiative made by Turkey, he added.

Elaborating on the reports claiming that new camps could be set up on the Syrian side of the Turkish border, “At this stage, we cannot talk about a certain plan. But the humanitarian situation in Syria is deteriorating and bringing pressure and risks for neighboring countries,” he said.

“In order to respond to a bigger inflow of refugees in the future, we are in touch with the UN. In this context, we proposed to hold a meeting with the neighbors of Syria; Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the UN,” Gümrükçü added.

Meanwhile, opening new refugee camps in Turkey for Syrians is becoming more and more difficult due to operational costs and difficulties in finding appropriate land for those camps, a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that the monthly cost to run a refugee camp were around 3 million Turkish Liras.

Erdoğan talks with Putin

In case of a mass influx of Syrians, the best option to respond to their humanitarian needs was for the international community, by way of a UN Security Council decision, to find a solution within the Syrian territory, the diplomat added.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Aug. 5, as the international community tested waters for the consent of Russia and China, two members of the UN Security Council which earlier vetoed similar attempts.

United Nations aid agencies have long been asking the Security Council to pass a humanitarian resolution on cross-border access to Syria, since humanitarian access, especially to opposition-controlled areas, continues to be difficult, and has been further exacerbated by new bureaucratic hurdles.

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