Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Tuesday called on EU officials to show leadership in addressing the migrant crisis during their upcoming summit, Anadolu reported.
Kalin said that the migrant crisis would continue as long as the war in Syria was ongoing.
“As we are approaching the EU summit on March 25-26th, Our hope, the expectation is that the EU leaders would show leadership there, and address this migration issue in a serious manner,” he said.
The EU leaders will discuss the future of EU-Turkey relations during their summit.
According to EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, the bloc will seek the renewal of the 2016 migration deal with Turkey, Anadolu reported.
Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar Al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
UN officials have said that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 12 million displaced over the past decade.
A 2016 deal between Turkey and the EU aimed to stop irregular refugee flows to Europe and improve the conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Turkey is the largest host country for Syrian refugees and provides protection to some 3.6 million people who fled the war.
“The root cause of the migration crisis which led to the signing of the 2016 Turkey-EU migration agreement is this war,” Kalin said.
He added: “As long as we avoid addressing this root cause, the Syrian war itself, we will not be able to find a lasting sustainable solution to the migration crisis.”