Jordan, Syria foreign ministers discuss ‘voluntary refugee returns’ at UNGA sidelines
Jordan is home to more than a million Syrian refugees.
Jordan and Syria’s foreign ministers discussed on Thursday the voluntary return of Syrian refugees in Jordan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi and Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad “discussed efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis that… creates the necessary conditions for the voluntary return of refugees,” the Jordanian foreign ministry said in a statement.
Jordan is home to more than a million Syrian refugees, about half of whom have fled the war that has gripped their home country since 2011. Very few of these refugees have returned home.
Fellow Middle Eastern states Lebanon and Turkey are looking to implement large-scale deportation programs for Syrians, saying that they cannot house such large numbers of refugees.
The UN and human rights groups dispute claims from officials from these countries and Damascus that parts of Syria are safe enough to return to.
Syrians continue to make perilous, sometimes life-threatening journeys to leave their country. A boat departing from Lebanon that carried Syrians and other migrants sank off Syria’s coast, killing at least 73 people.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Safadi discussed earlier this year how encourage the voluntary return of Syrian refugees from their countries.
Safadi said back in 2018 that Jordan had “exceeded its absorptive capacity” with regards to refugees.
Source: The New Arab