A Free Syrian Army fighter talks on a walkie-talkie near a rocket launcher in Daraa.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Europe and Britain must offer asylum to those genuinely fleeing persecution but also need to boost aid, defeat smuggling gangs, and tackle the conflict in Syria to stem a migrant crisis, Britain's finance minister told Reuters on Saturday.
"It's absolutely clear we need a comprehensive plan across Europe," Osborne told Reuters on the sidelines of a meeting of G20 finance chiefs in Turkey.
"Yes, we must offer asylum to those who are genuinely fleeing persecution. Countries like Britain always have, we are one of the founders of the asylum system. We will take, as the prime minister said, thousands more," he said.
"But at the same time, you've got to make sure you've got aid going into the refugee camps on the borders ... We've got to defeat these criminal gangs who trade in human misery and risk people's lives and kill people."
Resolving the migration crisis also means dealing with President Bashar Assad's "evil" administration in Syria and with the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group, Osborne said.
"You've got to deal with the problem at source, which is this evil Assad regime and the ISIS (Islamic State) terrorists, and you need a comprehensive plan for a more stable, peaceful Syria. A huge challenge of course, but you can't just let that crisis fester. We've got to get engaged in that."