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AA 18/12/19: 'Wealthy Western, Arab states failed in refugee crisis'

Turkey's president says avoiding the refugee problem does not eliminate it, after co-chairing 1st Global Refugee Forum.

Developed and wealthy Western countries, as well as some rich Arab nations, failed to step up to resolve the refugee crisis, according to Turkey’s president.

"The world avoiding the refugee problem does not eliminate this problem," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Tuesday after co-chairing the first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

Erdogan proceeded from Geneva to Malaysia to attend a summit of Muslim world leaders in Kuala Lumpur.

The summit, which lasts through Dec. 21, is a global platform for dialogue that will bring together Muslim leaders, intellectuals and scholars to produce solutions to problems faced by Muslims.

Erdogan said that global problems can only be overcome by global cooperation and solidarity.

He said that Turkey has an "open-door policy" for refugees to fulfill its humanitarian and moral responsibilities.

"We say that the world should also assume this responsibility," he added.

Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees and is the country which spends the most on humanitarian aid per capita.

On Turkey sending unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Erdogan said that more drones will be sent if necessary.

"Anything can change at any time based on need," Erdogan said.

Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicles from Naval Air Command in Dalaman, Aegean Turkey, landed this Monday in the TRNC at 10 a.m. (0700GMT) following a green light from the Turkish Cypriot government.

Agreement with Libya

Asked about recent developments concerning Libya that the Turkish and Russian presidents discussed on the phone on Tuesday, Erdogan said that a delegation of high-level officials from the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, as well as intelligence and national security services will soon pay a visit to Moscow to discuss "regional issues in detail."

Erdogan said he asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for constructive talks and that Putin would give instructions towards the same end.

He said they agreed the delegations would discuss both Libya and Syria during the meeting.

On Nov. 7, Ankara and the Tripoli-based Libyan government reached two separate memorandums of understanding, one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The maritime pact asserted Turkey's rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area. It went into effect on Dec. 8.

Following the military cooperation deal, Erdogan said Ankara might consider sending troops to Libya if the Libyan government made a request.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

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