Ankara hosts international workshop on Syrian refugees

By Ahmet Salih Alacaci

ANKARA (AA) – Officials of various international organizations working with migrants and refugees discussed Syrian refugees in a workshop organized on Wednesday in Turkey’s capital Ankara.

Entitled “Global compact on refugees” and the future of Syrian refugees, the workshop was organized by TOBB University of Economics and Technology as part of a joint seminar in cooperation with the Japanese Embassy in Ankara.

The workshop consisted of two sittings with speakers, including EU Ambassador to Ankara Christian Berger, Miyuki Konnai of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and Kemal Kirisci of the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Stressing that the issue of migration had become a “global challenge that needs a global solution”, Christian Berger emphasized the need for cooperation among all states involved with refugee movement, including host, transit and countries of their origin.

He underlined that the priorities of the international community should be the integration of migrants in their host societies through education and legal workforce participation as well as the elimination of the circumstances that initially forced refugees to flee their home countries.

Kirisci also stressed that humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees could not “take the place of” political solutions and the facilitation of their return to Syria.

He added that while refugees working in the formal sector bolstered the economies of their respective hosts, a “degree of safety” was necessary in order for refugees to return voluntarily to their home countries.

Konnai spoke on the cooperation between Ankara and Tokyo on Syrian refugees in Turkey that include development assistance for infrastructure as well as training and psychosocial care for refugees.

The findings and speeches of the workshop will be published, with a goal to share best practices regarding refugees and migration.

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