The global political landscape has been full of refugee talks in the last few weeks, made important by the death of the Syrian ‘refugee’ toddler-Aylan Kurdi whose image shocked the world.
Today, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which was attacked by terrorists about 8 months ago published a cartoon about the death of Aylan Kurdi on the cover of its latest issue as the conversation on Syrian refugees and their future continues.
“More than 4 million refugees have fled Syria since the war there began in 2011.According to the UN’s refugee agency, almost 1.8 million have gone to Turkey, more than 600,000 to Jordan and 1 million to Lebanon – a country whose population is just 4 million,” reports the Guardian.
Earlier this month, the German Chancellor-Angela Merkel said Germany is expected to take at least 800,000 asylum seekers this year, a figure which could go up to about 1 million.
However, between June 2014 and June 2015, the UK took only 166 Syrian refugees and this number is said to have poorly risen to 216.
While Britain and other European countries have been heavily criticised for doing less to take in the displaced Syrians, Germany and other nations have received worthy commendations for going the extra mile to provide new homes for these refugees, even if temporal.
German citizens themselves have shown the world how warm and welcoming they are as people—and in the wake of the refugee crisis, we’ve seen videos of how individual citizens have opened their homes to these Syrians who have crossed the borders into their country.
In pursue of lasting solution and to end the Syrian refugee crisis, several European countries have publicly expressed the need for the incumbent President of the Muslim nation-President Bashar Assad to go—against the background that, it’s the unending fight between his government and the well equipped rebels which has caused the unnecessary war.
Last month, the UN Security Council was forced to back a Syrian peace talk in a rare show of unity after widespread condemnation of government air strikes that killed nearly 100 people.
In a first statement of its kind in two years, the Security Council urged a political transition and backed a plan to create working groups to discuss ending the Syrian war.
Western countries are not only blaming President Assad and his government for the war but for having caused the hovering refugees chaos, especially in Europe. But in an interview today, Assad pushed the entire blame on these same Western countries, saying, ‘If You Are Worried About Refugees, Stop Supporting Terrorists.’
Undeniably, certain Western countries have and continue to back the Syrian rebels who are in search for a political change—by allegedly supplying them with ammunition and intelligence. And for President Assad, these rebel groups remain terrorists in his book—therefore, he considers the Syrian war a battle between a legitimate government and terrorists who are supported by Western countries.
Speaking to Russian media including RT, President Bashar Assad stated that Europe is “not dealing with the cause” of the current refugee crisis, adding that all Syrians want is “security and safety.”
He said; “It’s not about that Europe didn’t accept them or embrace them as refugees, it’s about not dealing with the cause. If you are worried about them, stop supporting terrorists. That’s what we think regarding the crisis. This is the core of the whole issue of refugees.
If we ask any Syrian today about what they want, the first thing they would say – ‘We want security and safety for every person and every family’.”
President Assad called on the political forces, whether inside or outside the government to “unite around what the Syrian people want.”
And then he stepped into his most loving comfort zone, calling the West backed rebels terrorists. He stated that the Syrian dialogue for peace should be continued “in order to reach the consensus,” and that this cannot be implemented “unless we defeat the terrorism in Syria.”
Assad continued; “I’d like to use our meeting today to address all parties in a call to unite in the struggle against terrorism. Only through dialogue and the political process can we reach political goals, that the Syrians should set for themselves.”
Perhaps, President Assad is right about on thing; the need to provide “safety and security” for the people of Syria on their own land so that they do not become refugees or burdens for those taking them in and those refusing to wholeheartedly embrace them.
But the problem as always remains; how do we achieve this with his government in power, unwilling to step down—killing several Syrians each month as though they were foreign enemies? And also, when the West continues to support ‘insurgents’ who are totally not blameless in this fight for political power, caging the ordinary Syrians in undeserving refugee camps?