Turkey’s interior minister on Tuesday refuted recent claims about the increasing number of migrants from Turkey to Greece and said "if the EU was concerned about Turkey as much as Greece, the problems may be solved."
Suleyman Soylu's remarks came at a joint news conference ahead of a bilateral meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
Soylu hailed the UN’s global efforts to address the refugee crises as he pointed to a migration influx in Turkey.
"I believe that the UN is following the issue with much more attention than the EU. We regret the recent statement from the EU,” he said, rejecting claims that migration from Turkey to Greece was on the increase.
“If the EU was concerned about Turkey as much as Greece, we would solve issues and problems better,” he noted.
Soylu said a total of 30,842 migrants went to Greece during an eight-month period last year, while figures for 2019 stood at 29,025, indicating a 6% drop.
Grandi thanked Turkey on behalf of the international society for hosting 4 million refugees.
And said a global forum on refugees would be held at the end of the year in Geneva. Turkey is one of five countries co-convening the meeting.
“This is very significant because Turkey is the largest refugee hosting country in the world,” he said.
He noted the Geneva meeting is aimed at providing international support for countries hosting refugees to “share the burden more equitably between countries.”
Turkey will co-chair the first Global Refugee Forum on Dec. 17-18, that will focusing on arrangements for burden and responsibility sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions, and protection capacity.
The meeting will convene at the ministerial level and include UN member states and other stakeholders.