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Turkey can take no more than 100,000 Syrian refugees

Last Updated: Monday, August 20, 2012 - 20:29

Istanbul: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday that his country cannot take more than 100, 000 Syrian refugees and proposes a UN buffer zone inside Syria to shelter them.

"If the number of refugees in Turkey surpasses 100,000, we will run out of space to accommodate them. We should be able to accommodate them in Syria," the foreign minister told local Hurriyet Daily.

"The United Nations may build camps in a safe zone within Syria’s borders," he said.

Davutoglu also said Turkey would participate in a ministerial meeting of the UN Security council on Aug. 30 to study the humanitarian situation in Syria.

By now, Turkey already hosts nearly 70,000 Syrian refugees at its southeastern border with Syria. The number of Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey keeps rising sharply as the fighting in Syria`s Aleppo escalates.

During her Aug. 11 visit to Turkey, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her country and Turkey were discussing various plans including setting up no-fly zone over Syria.

But two days later, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said plans to set up a no fly zone over Syria were "not on the front burner." Panetta said enforcing a no-fly zone would require a " major, major policy decision" that had not yet been made.


First Published: Monday, August 20, 2012 - 20:20
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