World Bulletin / News Desk
The unfolding crisis in Syria dominated a committee meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM) held in Istanbul on Friday with the attendance of representatives from 12 member states.
The Syrian crisis is the "bleeding wound" of the Mediterranean, chairperson of the Turkish Group of the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe and Mediterranean Zeynep Karahan Uslu said at the gathering.
Expressing her sadness at the inaction of international bodies like the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) amid the Syrian conflict, Uslu spoke of Syrian refugees in Turkey by saying, "We, [as Turkey] will continue hosting suffering people."
She criticized the remarks of French President Francois Hollande, who said "Help should be provided to Turkey to prevent refugees leaving camps to attempt to come [to Europe]," by asking, "Is their only aim while helping Turkey to prevent the flow of refugees to Europe?"
"All projects to secure the unity of the Mediterranean are valuable," the Turkish chairperson emphasized.
Since the uprising began in 2011, more than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria, according to UN figures. Turkey hosts around 600,000 refugees, 200,000 of whom are living in camps.
"This has brought a $2 billion burden to Turkey. We will continue bearing this burden. If the Syrian crisis is not resolved, we all know it is very difficult to rebuild stability in the region all over again," stressed Ali Ercoskun - Chair of the PA-UfM Committee on economic and financial affairs, social affairs and education, and Member of the Turkish Parliamentary Assembly.
Haitham Al-Abbadi, Member of the Jordanian Parliament, evaluated the situation in Syria by pointing out the refugee crisis in Jordan.
"There are more than one million refugees in Jordan. They are not just in camps, they are everywhere. The United Nations should provide much more assistance to them," Al-Abbadi told Anadolu Agency (AA).
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, officially established in Athens in 2004, provides a framework for multilateral cooperation among elected representatives of the EU and its southern Mediterranean partner countries.