Ankara denounces British Foreign Secretary’s statements on refugees

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ANKARA

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has criticized British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ statement that she will seek an agreement with Türkiye on an asylum partnership, just as London has done with Rwanda, saying the country cannot be considered a refugee camp.

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“The British press has announced that Elizabeth Truss, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development, may demand an agreement with Turkey similar to the agreement reached with Rwanda on the asylum partnership . We hope that these claims that have been published in reference to Ms. Truss are baseless,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said in a July 16 written statement.

Truss is one of the contenders for the leadership of the British Conservative Party, therefore at Downing No. 10 the day after the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Truss was talking about how she would solve the growing problem of migration if elected prime minister. The UK and Rwanda recently concluded an asylum partnership agreement which stipulates that the latter will take in a number of refugees on its soil in exchange for financial gains.

Turkey has already hosted the largest number of refugees in the world for eight years. Therefore, it is out of the question for Turkey to take on more burdens or to be part of an initiative, at the request of third countries, which does not respect international regulations on the right of asylum,” said Bilgic.

“Turkey will not be a refugee camp or a border guard for any country. Under no circumstances will Turkey take over the international obligations of third countries. Furthermore, we had already shared our position publicly last year following similar information published on Afghan refugees,” he said.

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“As a result, we call on all countries to fulfill their international obligations and assume equal responsibility on migration issues.”

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