Arab meeting focuses on ways to aid Syrian refugees' return


Published: 2023-05-01 17:03

Last Updated: 2024-04-14 01:45

Arab meeting focuses on ways to aid Syrian refugees' return
Arab meeting focuses on ways to aid Syrian refugees' return

Foreign ministers of Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iraq ended their closed "consulting meeting" in Amman to discuss the Syrian crisis.

This was the first time in 12 years for a Syrian foreign minister to visit Amman since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, in light of regional efforts to return Syria to the Arab League.

These regional efforts were also showcased during the past two months when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made official visits to the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

During the meeting that took place in Amman, the foreign ministers decided to continue holding talks aimed at reaching a solution to the Syrian crisis, consistent with Security Council Resolution 2254.

The meeting focused on ways to aid Syrian refugees' voluntary return, in addition to a number of security and political issues.

Arab ministers agreed with the Syrian foreign minister on an agenda of talks, which will continue according to a timetable to be agreed upon, and in a way that takes into account the humanitarian situation, security, and political situations.

The ministers also agreed on the following according to a communiqué issued by Jordan’s foreign ministry:

  • The delivery of humanitarian and medical aid contributes to meeting the needs of Syrians. All efforts must be taken, in cooperation and coordination between the Syrian government and the relevant United Nations bodies, in line with the relevant United Nations resolutions, including Resolutions 2642 and 2672.
  • The ministers welcomed the Syrian government's decision to open the Bab As-Salaam and Al-Rai crossings to the United Nations for the delivery of humanitarian and medical aid after the earthquake that hit Syria on Feb. 6, 2023. They also expressed their satisfaction with the Syrian government's consideration of extending this decision, in light of the importance of this in ensuring aid reaches those in need.
  • The voluntary and safe return of refugees to their country is a top priority, and steps must be taken to start immediate implementation.
  • Enhancing cooperation between the Syrian government and countries that are hosting refugees, in coordination with relevant United Nations bodies, to organize voluntary and safe return for refugees, according to specific procedures and a clear time frame.
  • The Syrian government, in coordination with the relevant United Nations agencies, shall begin to identify the needs necessary to improve public services provided in the areas for refugees.
  • Intensifying work with the international community and the United Nations to push for accelerating the implementation of early recovery projects, including in areas to which refugees are expected to return, leading to improving the necessary infrastructure to provide a decent life for refugees who choose to return voluntarily to Syria, including building schools, hospitals and public facilities as well as creating jobs.
  • To take similar steps, as appropriate, to resolve the issue of internally displaced persons, including the issue of the Rukban camp.
  • Cooperation between the Syrian government and the Jordanian government, in coordination with the relevant United Nations bodies, in organizing a voluntary return process for about a thousand Syrian refugees in Jordan.
  • Enhancing cooperation to advance efforts to exchange abductees and detainees and search for missing persons according to a studied approach with all parties and concerned international organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, in coordination with the Syrian government.
  • Cooperation between the Syrian government, the concerned countries and the United Nations in formulating a comprehensive strategy to enhance security and combat terrorism in all its forms and organizations.
  • Work to support Syria and its institutions in any legitimate efforts to extend its control over its lands, impose the rule of law, end the presence of armed and terrorist groups on Syrian lands, and stop foreign interference in Syrian internal affairs, in accordance with the provisions of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
  • Enhancing cooperation between Syria and neighboring countries that are affected by drug trafficking and smuggling across the Syrian borders with neighboring countries. In this context, Syria will cooperate with Jordan and Iraq in forming two separate joint political/security groups within a month to identify the sources of drug production and smuggling in Syria and take the necessary steps to end smuggling operations.
  • Agree on effective steps to address security challenges related to border security, by establishing effective coordination mechanisms between the Syrian military and security services and their counterparts in neighboring countries.
  • Resume the work of the Constitutional Committee as soon as possible, in the context of political steps aimed at achieving comprehensive national reconciliation.