UK PM candidate considers sending refugees to Turkey if she becomes PM
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, now one of the candidates to potentially succeed Boris Johnson as the leader of the Conservative Party and UK Prime Minister, is set to expand a controversial migrant deportation plan to include Turkey if she becomes PM, British media reported.
According to the Times, she has told MPs privately that "she will open negotiations with more countries to get them to take refugees arriving in Britain if she wins the leadership."
Such negotiations are likely to be held with Turkey that has been accepted in the circles close to Truss as "a possible destination," despite grave concerns being voiced by Turkish officials.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had complained about the influx of refugees a year earlier following the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, saying to European Council President Charles Michel in a telephone call, "You cannot expect Turkey to take on the responsibility of third countries."
"Turkey is already home to at least five million refugees and the country cannot bear an additional migration burden by taking in Afghans who worked for Western countries," Erdogan had told Michel.
While the British government has been recently involved in arrangements to deport a large number of asylum seekers to Rwanda, it met with reaction from UN officials and human rights groups.
The arrangements of the government were strongly criticized by Siobhan Mullally, UN Special Rapporteur Trafficking in Persons, in mid June.
A statement by UN Special Procedures said:
"UN expert Siobhan Mullally urges UK to halt plans to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda, warns asylum partnership arrangement violates international law and may harm those fleeing conflict & persecution, including victims of human trafficking."