French President Francois Hollande. Photo: AFP
The European Union must “work with Turkey” in order to “ensure that those who are in Turkey can stay there, work there and have all the resources they need to wait until the situation in Syria is resolved”, Hollande told reporters in Modena, Italy, after holding talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Hollande said that aside from pledging assistance to Turkey, leaders attending next Wednesday's emergency EU summit on Europe's escalating migrant crisis must also set up “hotspots” or registration centres for asylum seekers.
They must also, he added, ensure countries where refugees had sought shelter before deciding to leave for Europe “receive much more aid”.
Syria's four-year war has forced more than four million people to flee their country. Nearly half have sought shelter in Turkey, while more than a million are now living in Lebanon and nearly 630,000 in Jordan.
The journey from Turkey to Greece across the Aegean Sea has become one of the main routes for thousands of refugees and migrants wanting to start a new life in the European Union.
While many of them are from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, others are coming from countries in Africa.
In Modena, Hollande also said the European Union must also do more to assist African countries so that people do not feel forced to migrate in search of a better life.