President calls on members to raise the humanitarian issues related to the situation at the Turkish-Greek and Turkish-Syrian border

PACE President, Rik Daems, following a current affairs debate in the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly on “recent developments at the Turkish-Greek-Bulgarian borders: how to safeguard human rights?” called on all 47 member states to collectively address the issue of the humanitarian consequences of the war and crisis in Syria.

“This war and crisis,” said Mr Daems “cannot be solved by any one country alone, we all have a role and responsibility. The agreement yesterday between Turkey and Russia for a ceasefire in Idlib can be welcomed and will hopefully alleviate the worsening humanitarian situation of Syrian displaced persons and refugees on the border between Syria and Turkey. It could also begin to defuse the humanitarian and political crisis on the border between Turkey and Greece where hundreds and thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants have been gathering trying to cross.”

The President went on to say, “our organisations’ first goalshould be to tackle the humanitarian and human rights concerns of the people caught up in this tragedy, treating them first and foremost as individuals. They should not be used as pawns in a greater international political struggle. To do this we have to show compassion to the individuals, and solidaritywith countries shouldering the weight of responsibility: Turkey, Greece and others. The European Union has a pivotal role to play , but so do all 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

The Assembly will continue to follow the situation carefully, and I call on members of the Parliamentary Assembly to address this issue in their national parliaments.”