Syria’s Envoy to Russia Says Erdogan Using Refugee Crisis as Leverage Against European States

Previously, Ankara stopped preventing Middle Eastern refugees from trying to breach through its borders with neighbouring European states, specifically Greece, thus violating an agreement that Turkey signed with the EU back in 2016.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using the new refugee crisis to “blatantly blackmail” European nations, Syria’s envoy to Russia Riyad Haddad has stated.

“Countries can’t use refugees issue as leverage to pressure other states, as Turkey does in regards to the European Union. Turks will always be pressuring [Syria] and Europe using refugees”, Haddad said.

The Syrian envoy added that the Arab Republic is actively working towards bringing its citizens back home, noting that “Syria is returning to peaceful life”. Haddad said that in order to incentivise people to return, Damascus is working on several issues at the same time: fighting terrorism and illegal foreign interventions, maintaining political dialogue within the country, and restoring the country’s economy.

The latter, however, requires assistance from foreign countries as well, the envoy stressed. Haddad pointed out that Syria is currently experiencing significant financial stress due to foreign sanctions targeting its economy and called on countries to end the “economic blockade” of the Arab Republic.

Refugee Crisis on Turkey-Greece Border

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