Minister for Foreign Affairs Kurz visits Ankara

Turkey as an important partner and key country in tackling the refugee crisis and the fight against IS-Terrorists

Vienna, 19 September 2015 - Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz visited Turkey this weekend and met among others with his Turkish counterpart Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu. The ministers discussed the role of Turkey as partner, especially in how to tackle the refugee crisis. “Turkey is a well organised country and it lies in the hands of the Turkish government whether just a few or tens of thousands move on. The reasons for fleeing, the war in Syria and the violence caused by the Jihadist militia “Islamic State” must be reduced, this is why I support the idea of safe areas, securing specific stretches of land, allowing refugees to live there” said Kurz against the backdrop of the press conference with Sinirlioglu in Ankara. In order to implement such a plan, intensive cooperation between a multitude of states is needed and with an UN-Mandate also Austria could contribute thereto.

Turkey has not only taken in more than two million persons from the neighbouring civil war ridden Syria seeking protection, but also is a major transit country in direction of the EU. “The stream of refugees into Europe is a challenge we must face together. The EU will step up its aid and we should have an even closer cooperation, not only in border security and refugee registration, but also in the fight against human trafficking”, Kurz concluded.