European Council President Tusk says Assad victory will bring more refugees
PR dla Zagranicy
President of the European Council Donald Tusk argued in Strasbourg on Tuesday that a victory of the current ruling regime of President Assad in Syria would prompt a further wave of refugees to Europe.
European Council President Donald Tusk delivers his speech during the plenary session about the humanitarian situation of refugees within the EU and in neighbouring countries in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, 06 October 2015. EPA/PATRICK SEEGER
Former Polish prime minister Tusk, who visited the Middle East last month, said at a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg that the ongoing Russian intervention could tip the balance as regards refugees.
“During my visits to the region, whoever I spoke to, presidents or refugees in the camps, in Turkey, Jordan, or Egypt, warned me against one thing: a potential victory of Assad's regime,” Tusk said.
He argued that such a victory “is more likely today because of Iran and Russia's engagement in Syria, and will result in the next migratory wave.
“Yesterday, this message was confirmed by President [of Turkey] Erdoğan.
“According to Turkish estimates, another three million potential refugees may come from Aleppo and its neighbourhood.”
Meanwhile, Tusk reaffirmed that it is Europe's duty to take in refugees and to show solidarity.
However, he argued that this “requires us to refrain from extremes.
“And by extremes I mean both anti-immigration rhetoric on one hand, and on the other, inviting everyone willing to come, despite being unable to take them under our roof.”
In this regard, he said that “the first commandment today is the restoration of control on the EU´s external borders as a condicio sine qua non of an effective, humanitarian and safe migratory policy.”
Tusk concluded that “what people want from their leaders above all is a guarantee of order and security for their own community.” (nh/rk)