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UN's Syria envoy thanks Turkey for welcoming refugees

July 16, 2015 at 10:00 am

The UN’s special envoy to Syria thanked Turkey for its acceptance of Syrian refugees Wednesday.

Staffan de Mistura met Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu in Ankara.

“De Mistura conveyed his appreciation for the substantial effort by Turkey in welcoming and hosting a large number of Syrian refugees,” the envoy’s spokeswoman Jessy Chahine said in a statement released from Geneva.

“The special envoy also stressed the importance of the contribution of the regional countries to a political solution to the Syrian conflict.”

Turkey has taken in 1.8 million of the 4 million refugees who have fled the war-torn nation since violence erupted in 2011, according to the UN’s refugee agency.

De Mistura has been holding talks in an attempt to implement the Geneva Communique that sets out a six-point plan to stop the violence and move the sides in Syria towards a political settlement.

Earlier, de Mistura had said Turkey had an important role in the region and would participate in Geneva consultations on Syria.

More than 40 Syrian groups, including armed opposition groups, have been invited to attend talks that began in May.

The civil war has led to the deaths of more than 220,000 people.