Erdogan raps EU for leaving migrants ‘to their deaths’

Updated 22 April 2015

Erdogan raps EU for leaving migrants ‘to their deaths’

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday accused EU states of leaving migrants “to their deaths” after a succession of deadly disasters that have cost hundreds of lives.
His comments came as European governments, under mounting pressure to act decisively on the growing Mediterranean migrant crisis, were to hold an emergency summit on the issue Thursday.
“If these people seek refuge in European countries after somehow fleeing their home countries then how can an approach of letting the boats sink and leaving them to their deaths be adopted,” Erdogan said in televised comments.
“I condemn the West’s approach. There cannot be such an approach,” he said at a news conference alongside Iraqi President Fuad Masum.
He said that Turkey was hosting almost two million refugees from the Syria crisis “because it considers this a humanitarian responsibility.”
Turkey has repeatedly accused the EU and the West of not doing its fair share to help Syrians and other migrants, leaving Ankara with a multibillion dollar financial burden on the issue.
EU governments have already agreed to double the resources available to a maritime border patrol mission, but that has been attacked as too little, too late by refugee and rights groups.
The crisis has come to a head after 800 people are feared to have died in appalling circumstances off the coast of Libya on Sunday.
Related report on Page 11


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.