Duda calls for international help in Ukrainian refugee crisis
Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, during his visit to Turkey, appealed for international assistance in dealing with the Ukrainian refugee crisis in Poland.
Duda paid a visit to Ankara on Wednesday to discuss with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ways to defuse the Russia-Ukraine hostilities.
He told a joint press conference with Erdogan, that one of the topics of the talks was "the problem of refugees from Ukraine which, today, primarily affects Poland to a great extent."
Duda said that, until now, nearly 2 million refugees have come to Poland from war-torn Ukraine which is a "huge challenge" for his country.
"We can safely say that today we have a refugee crisis in our country. If we do not receive international support, we will be in a very difficult situation," he said.
He appealed to the entire international community to help Poland. "We need it very much at the moment," he said.
Duda also said he was pleased he could discuss the Ukrainian refugee issue with Erdogan as "Turkey is the country that, over the last decades, has probably been the most affected in the whole world by the refugee problem."
He added that Poland would able to take advantage of Turkish experience in this respect.
He also thanked the Turkish president for "his efforts to bring peace to Ukraine, to bring about a ceasefire there," and added that Turkey was seeking peace in this region of the world, as it was a country situated in an "absolutely strategic place" and as a state "takes care of the Black Sea straits."
"Thank you for the contribution that Turkey is making today in this regard so that this peace returns to Ukraine," Duda told Erdogan.
"We have no doubt that everything must be done to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine and halt the Russians from bombing Ukrainian cities, towns, villages and killing civilians," he said at the press conference.
Duda also pointed out that he was counting on the international community to join in the Ukraine reconstruction efforts after the end of the war.
"I hope that the international community will... first of all, aid financially the process of rebuilding all infrastructure, including residential infrastructure in Ukraine," he said.
"It is a great task for the whole honourable, democratic world to help in this process," Duda added.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told the press conference that he agreed with Duda on the need for an acceleration of diplomatic efforts to end Russia's aggression on Ukraine.
He also described Poland's efforts to help refugees from Ukraine as "truly admirable" and added that Turkey "understands best what Poland has had to deal with recently."
"Poland has shown a great attitude by opening the borders to refugees from Ukraine. What Poland is presenting is especially worthy of congratulations, and I personally thank you very much for this approach," Erdogan said.
Turkey has been involved in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Last week, the Ukrainian, Russian and Turkish foreign ministers met in Antalya on Turkey's south-eastern coast to discuss the conflict, but the talks did not produce significant results.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, sparking the biggest military crisis in Europe since World War Two.