Foreign Minister Bob Carr on Saturday, October 13, expressed solidarity for Turkey following the recent mortar attack on Turkish soil by Syrian forces and for Turkey’s efforts to assist Syrian refugees.
Minister Carr said he had this week spoken with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to pass on Australia’s support for a peaceful solution to the ongoing border conflict.
“I’ve visited Jordan and seen the refugee camps first-hand and spoken to the Lebanese Foreign Minister about the pressure on his country,” Senator Carr said.
“Until there’s a ceasefire and negotiations in Syria, the pressures on its neighbours will grow more intense.
“Turkey is right to express its grave concern at recent cross-border incidents, and deserves Australia’s support in this and in its efforts to assist Syrian refugees.”
More than 30,000 Syrians have died in the current civil conflict, and the United Nations has estimated more than 2.5 million others are in need of humanitarian care.
There are an estimated 300,000 Syrian refugees in camps in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
In September, Australia provided another $4 million for Syrian medical aid, comprising:
• an additional $2 million for medical supplies and emergency food aid in Syria; and
• an additional $2 million for food, shelter and health care in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and elsewhere.
This $4 million additional contribution lifted Australia’s commitment to the Syrian humanitarian crisis to $24.5 million. Australia is now the third largest national contributor to humanitarian aid for Syria, behind the United States and the United Kingdom.