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Pope hails Turkey for efforts to help Syrian refugees

January 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Pope Francis hailed Turkey for its efforts towards Syrian refugees, calling for other countries to support its care for them, Anadolu reported on Monday.

The Vatican Radio reported the Pope saying: “I express my thanks to all the initiatives launched to afford a decent host for the refugees. I am mainly talking to the countries adjacent to Syria which immediately responded offering aids and hospitality.”

He mentioned that there are a number of countries adjacent to Syrian offering assistance, naming Turkey.

The Pope added: “It is important not to leave these countries, which are committed to the needs of the urgent situation, alone. In addition, we need to launch a clear dialogue based on respect among all countries interested in the [refugee] problem.”

Half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes since the start of the conflict.

Turkey alone hosts more than 2 million Syrian refugees according to official Turkish and UN statistics.