By Erdal Turkoglu
HATAY, Turkey (AA) – A top Irish official on Thursday observed humanitarian aid efforts in the southern Turkish province of Hatay, bordering Syria, as part of his two-day visit to the country.
After visiting local officials in the city along with his delegation, Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign affairs and defense minister, went to a UN logistics center for humanitarian aid in Reyhanli district of Hatay, where he was briefed on its work.
Then he proceeded to the Cilvegozu border crossing with aid materials to be sent to Syria, and saw the aid transfer point in the buffer zone.
In January, Ireland began its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
On Wednesday, Coveney met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in the capital Ankara. The two agreed to continue efforts to put an end to the civil war in Syria and support its war-weary people.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.
In addition to providing aid, housing, and security to many Syrians along its border, Turkey also hosts some 4 million Syrian refugees, more than any country in the world.
*Contributions and writing by Sena Guler