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Erdogan says Turkey cannot handle a new migrant wave from Syria

FILE PHOTO: Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan leaves 10 Downing Street after meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other heads of state, ahead of the NATO summit in London, Britain December 3, 2019. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey cannot handle a fresh migrant wave from Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, adding that European nations will feel the impact of such an influx if violence in Syria’s Idlib region is not stopped.

Speaking at an awards ceremony in Istanbul, Erdogan said more than 80,000 people were currently on the move from Idlib to Turkey due to Russian and Syrian bombardments in the region. He said it was inevitable for Europe to see conditions like those in the 2015 migrant crisis unless it helped stop violence in the region.

Erdogan also said Turkey was doing everything possible with Russia for the bombardments in Idlib to stop. He said a Turkish delegation would go to Moscow to discuss developments in Syria on Monday, and that Turkey will determine what steps to take after those talks.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise