Syria’s neighbours call for humanitarian dimension at Geneva II

Ankara, Jan 18: Syria’s neighbouring countries sheltering refugees Friday called on the international community to consider humanitarian dimension of the Syrian crisis at Geneva II peace conference.

“Geneva II cannot be indifferent to the humanitarian dimension of the Syrian conflict and dramatic suffering of the Syrian people,” Xinhua quoted the final declaration made at the second round of the Ministerial Meeting of Syria Bordering Countries.

The meeting, which was held at a refugee camp in Harran town in Turkey’s southern province of Sanliurfa, was attended by ministers from Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt’s deputy foreign minister. They discussed humanitarian aid efforts for the large influx of Syrian refugees.

The call comes five days before the convening of the Geneva II conference which aims at finding an end to the 34-month conflict that has claimed more than 130,000 lives and displaced millions of people.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said his country directly suffers from the spillover of the Syrian crisis, calling on regional countries for cooperation.

As many as 700,000 Syrians are taking shelter in Turkey, media reports said, adding that the Turkish government has spent over $2 billion for Syrian refugees.