Syrian government announced the formation of a coordination committee to work on the return of refugees

The Syrian government has announced the formation of a coordination committee to work on the return of refugees driven by the bloody conflict that has been going on for more than seven years to leave the country, official media reported, following a Russian initiative.

The official Syrian news agency SANA said that the cabinet agreed Sunday to “create a coordinating body for the return of the displaced abroad to their towns and villages that were abandoned by terrorism” under the chairmanship of Minister of Local Administration and Environment Hussein Makhlouf.

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad announced at the beginning of July that one of his priorities was “the return of refugees who left Syria to escape terrorism”.

The formation of this body, according to SANA, affirms that Syria, which won the war on terrorism and assumed responsibility towards the internally displaced, will take the necessary measures to resolve the situation of all displaced and ensure their return in light of the return of safety and the return of basic services to various regions.

The committee, which is composed of “ministries and concerned bodies”, will in the next stage “intensify communication with friendly countries to provide all facilities and take measures to ensure their return”.

The return of Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations 5.6 million people, was the focus of an initiative proposed by Moscow on Washington last month.

The plan envisages the establishment of two working groups in Jordan and Lebanon, each with representatives from both countries, officials from Russia and the United States.

Under the plan, the Russian presidential envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, visited Damascus, Amman and Beirut two weeks ago.

Assad told the Russian envoy during the meeting, according to the presidential website quoted him as saying that “Syria is keen on the return of all its children, and in this sense welcomed any possible assistance to the Syrians displaced at home and abroad”.

He appealed to Lavrentiev from Beirut on July 26 to the international community to contribute to the return of Syrian refugees to their country.

Over the past two years, Russian forces have gained control of several fronts in the country at the expense of opposition factions and jihadi groups.

It controls more than 60 percent of the country.

Countries that host Syrian refugees, especially Lebanon and Turkey, are demanding the return of refugees to their country, while international and human rights organizations warn that their return is not yet “safe” despite the cessation of fighting in several areas, stressing that it must be voluntary rather than coercive.

During the first half of 2018, 13,000 refugees returned to Syria, according to the United Nations.

Since its outbreak in 2011, the Syrian conflict has displaced and displaced more than half of the population inside and outside the country, causing massive destruction and killing more than 350,000 people.

Share it...