Turkey mulls joint forum on refugees with regional countries

Published 24.08.2019 00:02

Turkey can hold a joint forum on the return of Syrian refugees with Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said yesterday, during a press conference in Lebanon.

"We can also invite the international community," Çavuşoğlu said, stating that the two countries were on the same page in the matter of Palestine.

Çavuşoğlu arrived in Lebanon late Thursday to hold official talks on bilateral relations and regional topics. The minister is scheduled to meet with leading political figures during his two-day visit, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced in a written statement on Wednesday. Çavuşoğlu and the accompanying delegation started their talks with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, followed by Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, his counterpart Gebran Bassil and Interior Minister Raya El Hassan. As part of the visit, Çavuşoğlu will also meet with Turkish people living in the country. The Turkish delegation and the minister were accepted by Aoun in the 200-year old Beiteddine Palace in the Chouf Mountains. "We underlined the significance of the brother country Lebanon regarding security and stability. The issues of Syria, Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean were discussed," Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter on Friday.

Besides Syrian refugees that migrated to Lebanon fleeing from the civil war in their country, the issue of Palestinian refugees was also on the agenda. Aoun said that Lebanon hosts nearly 1.5 million Syrian refugees and that these people have to return to their country. He added that the aid they are receiving here will continue to be provided after they have returned to Syria. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy, Turkey's Ambassador to Beirut Hakan Çakıl and Lebanese authorities also attended the meeting, which was hold closed to the press.

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