With the participation of a large delegation from Russia, the meeting about the work of the International Conference on the Return of Syrian Refugees and Displaced, who were forced by terrorist groups to leave Syria, started activities on Monday at the Damascus-based Conferences Palace.
The meeting comes to follow up on the outcomes of the International Conference on Return of refugees which was held at the end of last year.
The head of the Syrian-Russian Ministerial Coordination Body, Caretaker Minister of Local Administration and Environment, Hussein Makhlouf, pointed out the significant improvement in the security situation, which has contributed to the return of five million displaced people until now, and 2.5 million refugees from inside and outside Syria since the establishment of the coordination body between Syria and Russia.
For his part, the head of the Joint Ministerial Coordination Body in the Russian Federation and of the National Defense Management Center, General Mikhail Mezentsev, said that the returning Syrians receive medical care, food aid, among other things. The families are also transported to their chosen places of residence in the shortest possible time, where job and education opportunities are secured.
Mezentsev stressed the continuation of joint work through the two Syrian-Russian ministerial coordination bodies, which ensure the implementation of a full set of measures for the return of the displaced.
He pointed to the rehabilitation of 987 educational institutions, 255 medical institutions, 4,966 residential buildings, and more than 14.4 thousand industrial establishments, as well as bridges, highways, power lines, and the operation of hundreds of water and bread facilities.
He stressed the need to enhance the efforts of the entire international community to provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and to assist the government in creating suitable conditions for the return of Syrians to their areas.
For his part, Assistant Foreign and Expatriates Minister in the caretaker government, Dr. Ayman Sousan, affirmed in a similar speech that tens of thousands of internally displaced persons have returned to their homes in their towns and villages, and thousands have returned from outside Syria since the International Conference on Return of refugees was held in November 2020.
He indicated that the Syrian government will continue to take all the necessary measures to secure and facilitate the return of the displaced and secure the requirements of a decent life for them. He added, however, that some hostile countries impede the return of the displaced Syrians in a “flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, and they will not succeed in implementing their schemes and they will fail again thanks to the strong will of the Syrians and their determination to preserve their country.”
Susan noted that the brutal American and Turkish occupation of precious parts of the homeland, the illegitimate unilateral coercive measures, and attempts to prevent the reconstruction process constitute a continuation of the policies of the enemies of Syria to obstruct the return of refugees.
For his part, Foreign and expatriates caretaker Minister, Faisal Mekdad, said that the return of refugees is still subjected to politicization.
“The latest manifestation of politicization is the convening of the so-called Brussels 5th conference to support the future of Syria and the region during last March without the participation of Syria that aims to exert pressure on us by turning refugees into political cards,” Mekdad said.
Russian president’s special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, reaffirmed that the priority today is to resume normal life in Syria and to rebuild the economy and create appropriate conditions for the return of refugees and the displaced to their permanent place of residence, noting that the number of those wishing to return to their homes is large.
Lavrentiev referred to the destructive effect of the illegitimate unilateral measures imposed on Syria and the need to put an end to the collective punishment of the Syrian people just because they stand with their country, calling on all members of the international community to take specific and effective steps to solve the problem of Syrian refugees.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.