Turkey cannot save the EU by taking in Afghans who worked for Western countries in Afghanistan while the Taliban take power there, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.
“We have received a request to welcome local staff from a European Union mission in Afghanistan,” Erdogan was quoted as saying in a telephone conversation with European Council President Charles Michel.
“Member States do not even open their doors to a small fraction of the people who served them and who are in trouble,” the statement said.
“You cannot expect Turkey to assume the responsibility of third countries,” he said.
The head of state reiterated, the day after similar remarks during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that Turkey is already hosting about five million refugees and “cannot bear an additional migratory burden”.
Michel, for his part, confirmed on Twitter that he had discussed the unfolding situation in Afghanistan with Erdogan, describing it as a “common challenge for Turkey and the EU”.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday urged all countries, especially European countries, to take in Afghan refugees.
Erdogan had noted on Saturday that the EU has yet to honor a 2016 deal aimed at stopping the flow of migrants to Europe.
He said it was “unrealistic” for the EU to expect Turkey to take in more migrants until the 2016 agreement is fully implemented.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)