DDG Pope Visits Turkey
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IOM Deputy Director General Amy Pope visited Ankara and Gaziantep last week. In Ankara she met with the Deputy Minister of Interior Mr. İsmail Çataklı, Director General for Consular Affairs H.E. Nurdan Erpulat Altuntaş and Deputy Head of the EU Delegation Turkey, Commissioner Eleftheria Pertzinidou. In Gaziantep she visited IOM’s field operations including Ensar Community Center and IOM’s Burc Warehouse – the centre of IOM’s humanitarian cross-border programme for Northwest Syria.
During her high-level meetings in Ankara she emphasized the importance of regional and global cooperation to address the needs of displaced people and migrants and called for greater international assistance for host countries. The situation in Afghanistan was also a topic of discussions. Pope noted that conditions for all migrants and displaced would become more difficult ahead of the winter months.
She called on all IOM member states and all concerned, including donors, to uphold the rights of Afghans to seek asylum. In Gaziantep she met with Mark Cutts, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for OCHA, IOM’s main partner in providing aid in Northwest Syria. Together with partners from non-governmental organizations, IOM and the UN have reached over one million displaced persons in Northwest Syria with life-saving assistance since the start of the Civil War in 2011
“The ongoing crisis in northwest Syria must continue to be a focus of the international community,” said Pope. “The millions of displaced throughout the country rely on us and we must not leave them behind.”