WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Trump was speaking on the same day 20 former senior officials from the Obama and George W. Bush administrations urged the White House to allow 100,000 Syrian refugees into the United States as soon as possible.
"I like the concept of a safe zone until they can go back to their homes," he told the meeting held on Thursday night. "You create a safe environment."
However, Trump said he believed most of the refugees who felt forced to flee wanted to be able to return to their homes and humane accommodations should be prepared for them in the region until peace and security could be restored in Syria.
"The concept of safe zone is something that makes sense and the Gulf states have to contribute," he said.
Trump also said the United States should not take the lead in dealing with the refugee problem and European nations should come up with their own solutions for it.
"We can’t be the patsy every time there’s a problem," he told his audience.
Trump was speaking the day after the second Republican presidential debate was broadcast on CNN to an estimated 22.5 million people, a record audience for the news network.
Europe is currently struggling with a major refugee crisis as people from conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa flee their homes in search of better life conditions in EU states. According to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, nearly half a million migrants and asylum seekers were estimated to have entered Europe since the beginning of the year.