ADDS MORE INFO ON CONFERENCE AND TURKISH REPRESENTATION
By Serife Cetin
BRUSSELS (AA) - At the close of a conference on Syria on Thursday, top EU and UN officials announced nearly $7 billion in aid for civilians caught up in Syria’s eight-year bloody civil war.
Announcing the aid in Brussels, which hosted the conference, Christos Stylianides, EU commissioner for humanitarian aid, also thanked Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon for showing solidarity with Syrian refugees.
Turkey hosts some 3.5 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world.
Although humanitarian aid saves lives and alleviates pain, it cannot solve the crisis in Syria, said Mark Lowcock, the UN humanitarian chief.
Some €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) of the amount announced today was pledged in 2016 by the EU to help Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Around 80 representatives from more than 50 countries, including Turkey, participated in the Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region conference in Brussels starting on Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu represented Turkey at the conference, organized by the UN and EU.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.
*Writing by Beyza Donmez