Turkey, UK FMs discuss Turkish operation in Syria's Idlib, refugee flow



Turkish and British foreign ministers discussed on Tuesday the ongoing Turkish operation in the Syrian province of Idlib and the migratory flow to Europe, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

During a joint press conference with his visiting British counterpart Dominic Raab in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged Greece and the other EU countries to respect international law in treating refugees.

"Greece and the EU countries are trying to escape from their international responsibilities ... We do not have an obligation to forcefully keep anyone in Turkey," Cavusoglu said, referring to the latest migrant flow from Turkey to Greece.

His remarks came after several days of clashes at the Turkish-Greek land border where thousands of migrants are desperate to cross to Europe after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his country would no longer stop the migrants from going to Europe.

"The latest developments in Idlib have further increased the existing migratory pressure on our country and we cannot take a new migratory flow," the Turkish minister noted.

For his part, Raab also called on the Syrian government and Russia to take "the first and overriding responsibility for humanitarian suffering."

Fighting has escalated in recent days in northwestern Syria, where Turkey has launched a major offensive against the advances of the Russia-backed Syrian forces in the last stronghold of the rebels.

Illegal migrants walk toward Turkey's border with Greece in the province of Edirne, Turkey, on March 3, 2020. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)