French President Francois Hollande said that France stands by Turkey in the face of the refugee issue, during the phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the Turkish presidential sources on Thursday.
The two leaders had the conversation following the drowning of 11 Syrian refugees, including eight children, off coast of the Turkish town of Bodrum early on Wednesday after their boat en route to the Greek islands sank in the Aegean Sea.
The conversation concluded in an agreement that all countries and specifically the European Union should take the necessary steps to tackle the crisis.
Accordingly, Hollande said that France would help Turkey more for the refugees and praised Turkey's assistance for the refugees especially for those coming from Syria.
“Under Turkish presidency, we are building on previous presidencies’ agenda and will ensure a seamless continuity in the G20, while introducing new elements to ensure decisive collective action to provide inclusive and robust growth,” he added.
Erdogan, in his part, said Turkey expected the international community to do its part for the crisis, reminding that his country hosted about 2 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
The United Nations Refugee Agency reported that 1.8 million refugees reside in Turkey, 1 million in Lebanon and more than 600,000 refugees are in Jordan.
During the opening ceremony of the B20 conference on Thursday, Erdogan also said “The European countries that turned the Mediterranean, where the most ancient civilizations were based, into a grave for refugees are responsible for every refugee who lost their lives.”
According to media reports, leaked plans have revealed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is to propose a massive increase in the number of refugees EU countries would be required to temporarily take in.