EFENew York

The king of Spain on Monday called for a generous response to the great displacements of refugees and migrants, to whom he said support should be offered "so that they may live a dignified life" and who, in turn, should respect "the values that must be observed in the welcoming countries."

On his third annual visit to New York as king, accompanied by Queen Letizia, Felipe VI began his participation in the United Nations working sessions with a speech at a high-level meeting called by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the refugee crisis and the situation of migrants, a session in which almost 100 heads of state and government are taking part.

Before more than 20 leaders from different countries, the Spanish monarch recalled that many of the world's 65 million refugees or internally displaced persons who "are fleeing from conflicts, terrorism or persecution" are coming to Europe, adding that "Our responsibility is to take them in, according to our capabilities, so that they may live a dignified life."

"Those who have been expelled from their homes by force have to know that they can count on our support to attend to their needs" and that they may exercise their right "to return to their land," said Felipe before adding that such a return "necessarily comes at the end of the conflicts, the defeat of terrorism and the establishment of inclusive and democratic societies where basic rights, life and freedom are respected."

Spain will continue its efforts so that things work out this way to ensure the success of the two agreements on migrants and refugees that are being discussed at the current high-level meeting, the results of which - the king said - will mark "a turning point" on an issue of "vital importance ... (and) moral and political dimensions" that demands "special determination, generosity and perseverence."