Turkey: Europe must cooperate, not blame Ankara for migrants

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, shakes hands with Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, following their meeting to discuss cooperation on migration management in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Cavusoglu, Seehofer and European Commissioner for Immigration Dimitris Avramopoulos later met for breakfast and further discussed the migrants issue. (Turkish Foreign Ministry via AP, Pool)

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s foreign minister has called on European nations to work with Ankara on solving the refugee crisis instead of blaming it for a rise in migrant flows to Europe.

Mevlut Cavusoglu made the comments on Friday after a meeting with German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and European Union migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, who are in Ankara to discuss a Turkish-EU migration deal as well as a recent spike in migrants reaching Greece.

Cavusoglu’s comments were aimed at French President Emmanuel Macron who criticized Turkey this week over its migration management. The Turkish minister says Macron’s accusations “are not acceptable.”

Cavusoglu says he also discussed Turkish calls to create a so-called “safe zone” in northeast Syria where Turkey hopes to resettle some 2 million Syrian refugees. Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrians.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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