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Official says Turkey not intending to accept evacuees from Aleppo

(Xinhua)    22:32, December 19, 2016

ISTANBUL, Dec. 19 -- Turkey said on Monday that it has no intention to bring in Syrian citizens evacuated from the city of Aleppo.

"Turkey prepares to keep these people in their home country in camps" to be built by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency and the Turkish Red Crescent, a Turkish foreign ministry official told the foreign press in Istanbul.

"The idea is to keep these people in and around Idlib" in northwestern Syria, the official said, adding only those wounded or sick in need of immediate attention might be brought to Turkey.

Turkey is currently hosting more than 2.5 million Syrians fleeing a civil war that has been raging for years.

The number of Syrians evacuated from Aleppo is expected to hit 30,000, according to Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak.

After the evacuation resumed on Sunday, 4,500 more had left eastern Aleppo since midnight, bringing the total evacuees to 20,000, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced on Monday in his twitter account.

The evacuation of opposition forces from eastern Aleppo came as part of a Turkish-Russian deal, and with the evacuation of the rebels from Aleppo's east, the Syrian army will take control of the entire city, a victory seen as a new chapter in history, as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said.

Foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran will meet in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the details of the evacuation.

"The priority of the meeting is the evacuation operation from Aleppo," said the Turkish Foreign Ministry official. "Then the trio will be able to discuss the evacuations from other parts of Syria."

As Ankara held al-Assad responsible for the deaths of more than 300,000 people in Syria, the Syrian president cannot be accepted by Turkey as a partner in the search for means to end the war, the official said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shen Chen, Bianji)

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