ANKARA, 20 November 2012 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Riccardo Migliori continues meetings in Ankara today during a three-day visit aimed at increasing the international response to the Syrian refugee crisis and other challenges Turkey has been facing.
In a meeting Monday night with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, Migliori spoke about Turkey's valuable role within the OSCE and its leadership in answering the humanitarian call in the wake of violence in Syria. (See OSCE PA Special Report on the refugee crisis here: PDF)
"The determination of Turkey to respond to this crisis in a humane fashion has not been overlooked," Migliori said. "For the sake of all those concerned, and especially the refugees fleeing the violence in Syria, I call on the international community to pay appropriate attention to the situation on the Turkish-Syrian border."
Davutoglu told Migliori the OSCE is important for the security and stability of the Eurasian region and he commended the Organization for its contribution to increase international visibility to Turkey's humanitarian efforts. The Turkish government reported spending 400 million U.S. dollars so far to manage the refugee crisis, an effort that Migliori commended as vital in providing proper shelter to the refugees.
Migliori today signed an agreement with Cemil Cicek, Speaker of Turkey's Grand National Assembly, for the Turkish parliament to host the 2013 OSCE PA Annual Session in July in Istanbul. He also met with Omer Celik, Deputy Head of Justice and Development Party in charge of Foreign Relations and Alaattin Buyukkaya, Deputy Minister in charge of EU Affairs. On Wednesday, Migliori will visit refugee camps in Akcakale on the Turkish-Syrian border.
Throughout his meetings Migliori discussed other issues of regional interest, including the ongoing conflict in Gaza, the role of the OSCE in the Mediterranean, and the role of Turkey's bilateral relations in helping make progress in frozen conflicts.
OSCE PA human rights committee chair Matteo Mecacci is also participating in the presidential visit to Turkey. He raised humanitarian issues related to the refugee crisis and capital punishment in the meeting with Davutoglu.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 320 parliamentarians from 55 countries spanning, Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international co-operation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.