Syrian humanitarian crisis can be solved with regime change: Erdogan
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the Assad government to be removed from power. (AFP/File)
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that the humanitarian crisis in Syria could only be solved with a regime change.
Speaking at the European think tank Egmont Institute, during his visit to Brussels on Monday, Erdogan said: "Bringing peace and founding stability in the country is only possible with a controlled transition leading to regime change."
"Thanks to the protection, aid and service provided by Turkey, 2.2 million Syrian citizens are continuing to live in safety," he said. "By doing this, we possess more of the European Union values than [some] member states."
Erdogan’s visit to Brussels comes weeks after the EU pledged at least 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and other countries last month.
With Turkey having spent $7.5 billion on sheltering refugees since the start of the conflict in Syria, Erdogan said his country had only received $417 million in foreign aid.
Faced with the worst migrant crisis since World War II, the EU has expressed its willingness to help Turkey integrate more migrants on its soil in order to prevent mass inflows of refugees arriving in neighboring Greece.