World Erdogan says Turkey aims to settle 1 million refugees in Syria offensive area

02:15  10 december  2019
02:15  10 december  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to press on with an offensive in northern Syria until his mission to create a "safe zone" is complete. Mr Erdogan has also said he will meet the US vice-president on Thursday after all, despite appearing to rule it out. He told Sky News on Wednesday

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey aims to settle one million Syrian war refugees in the area of northern Syria where it carried out a military incursion in October, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: NATO Alliance summit in Watford© Reuters/Toby Melville FILE PHOTO: NATO Alliance summit in Watford

He told state broadcaster TRT that Ankara would finance the resettlement on its own if allies did not provide support.

Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies launched the offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara views as a terrorist group. After seizing a strip of land inside Syria 120 km (75 miles) long and around 30 km (18 miles) wide running from the town of Ras al Ain to Tel Abyad, Turkey signed separate deals with the United States and Russia to halt its assault.

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Erdogan said Turkey aimed to “water the east of Euphrates with fountains of peace” and settle Ankara says it wants to settle up to 2 million Syrian refugees in the zone However, the refugee transfer could face resistance from allies opposed to changing the demographic balance of the area .

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Turkey , which for eight years has welcomed millions of Syrian refugees , has President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pushing a radical solution — resettling refugees in a swath of Syrian “Our goal is to settle at least one million Syrian brothers and sisters in our country in this safe But Turkey , which has given sanctuary to 3.6 million Syrians , says the migrant problem is

Turkey had previously said it could settle up to 2 million Syrian refugees in a 444-km (275-mile)-long "safe zone" it aimed to form in northeastern Syria, and repeatedly urged NATO allies to provide financial aid for the plans.

Turkey currently hosts more than 3.5 million refugees from neighboring Syria's 8-1/2-year-old war. Turkish officials have not indicated when any resettlement of refugees would begin.

"The Turkish nation can carry out an exemplary step between Ras al Ain and Tel Abyad," Erdogan said in his TRT interview, holding up a map of the region with markings on it. "Settling one million people between Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain, that is our aim in the safe zone, that is our plan."

Last week, Erdogan met his German, French and British counterparts on the sidelines of a NATO summit in London to hold talks on developments in Syria and his "safe zone" plan.

After the summit, Erdogan said one country, which he did not name, had pledged support for the plan but that Germany, France and Britain had not done so. He had previously said that Qatar could back it.

The European Union and Turkey's allies in NATO have rejected its calls for financial assistance and condemned the Turkish offensive, which they said might hinder the fight against Islamic State in Syria. Turkey has dismissed the concerns.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Erdogan urges resettling of one million refugees in northern Syria 'peace zone' .
Erdogan urges resettling of one million refugees in northern Syria 'peace zone'"We need to find formula to allow refugees... who traveled to Turkey to be resettled in their motherland," Erdogan, whose country hosts 3.7 million Syrian refugees, told the Global Forum on Refugees, being held in Geneva.

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