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Almost a million of refugees return to Syria in the near future

Another meeting of the Joint Coordination Centre of the Defence Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian on repatriation of Syrian refugees took place in Moscow. It was chaired by Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the National Centre for State Defence Control of the Russian Federation.

Report by Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev.

All members of the Joint Coordination Committee, Centre for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement have done a great job, organized close cooperation with international organizations concerned and the Syrian authorities for early return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

Ten CPs have already deployed for returnees.

The government of Lebanon established a working group for the deployment of a joint committee on cooperation with the Syrian side in repatriation matters. In the next months, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, it is expected that some 890,000 civilians are about to return back to Syria.

Jordan authorities are acrively working on voluntary repatriation. Jordan's government carried out a complex of measures, as a result of which more than 200,000 Syrian citizens have expressed the desire to return to places of permanent residence. All this is happening amid successful operations of the Syrian army to regain control over the Syria-Jordan border.

Following the example of the French initiative on delivery of humanitarian relief to the Eastern Ghouta, Japan made proposals on infrastructure rehabilitation and mine clearance in Eastern Ghouta and Homs former de-escalation zones.

We are talking about small projects for the construction or rehabilitation of schools and hospitals. But the Japanese leadership is willing to implement larger projects.

Roads and dwellings are being actively recovered. However, the international community is still not active enough in providing comprehensive assistance to Syrians.

Report of Nikolay Burtsev, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Russian diplomatic organizations including permanent missions of Russia to the UN and EU are working to consolidate international efforts aimed to enable refugees to return back to their former places of residence.

The Russian Embassy in Damascus was instructed to organize cooperation with the Syrian side to issue a daily progress report regarding the establishment of the interdepartmental headquarters, direct cooperation with neighbouring countries, the UN, the negotiation centers in Astana, Geneva, Amman monitoring center and other agencies.

During target interviews to the Foreign Ministry of Syria, the representatives of the Russian Embassy called for a dense advocacy support efforts to restore housing, infrastructure facilities and essential services.

The Russian Embassy in Damascus was instructed to work together with the Syrian side on possibility of delegating the production of building materials based on the needs in the provinces, in order to increase the pace of recovery of the infrastructure.

Instructions were sent to Geneva and New-York to organize jointly with UN daily bulletin on Syrian refugees for further distribution through foreign ministries channels, and through contacts with international organizations, including the Staffan de Mistura Secretariat.

During the meeting, representatives of the Russian Embassy in Baghdad with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq Shorsh Khalid Said, the Iraqi diplomat said that his country was ready to facilitate the repatriation of Syrian refugees. In Iraq they reckon that to stimulate the desire of refugees to return to Syria, its government should demonstrate financial readiness for their reception: in particular, to build a new or restore a damaged housing stock. At the same time, he said, it is necessary to coordinate the return of refugees between Syria and Iraq at the governmental level.

The Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry of Italy in response to our request for official information on the number of Syrian refugees they referred that they need time "to clarify the figures."

According to local UNHCR Office, since the crisis started in Syria, the Italian authorities have received 3,836 applications from Syrian citizens seeking asylum. The Italian side provided no information on the number of approved requests.

There were some conversations on refugees in Bulgarian agencies in concern. Its authorities are interested in the return of Syrian refugees to Syria on a strictly voluntary basis. They made it clear that they were ready to joint further consultations in the Russia-EU format. The State Agency for refugees also welcomed the Russian initiative and expressed their willingness to participate in relevant consultations in the event, if held. They reported that in the Bulgarian centers for refugees at the moment there might be some 180 Syrian citizens.

There were some conversations on refugees in Slovenia agencies in concern. Official Ljubljana advocated increased assistance to the States of refugees, including Syria, in order to create normal living conditions. They are ready to join the consultations on this matter  in the framework of EU policy. At the same time they do not consider refugees staying in their country to be a matter of particular concerns that it to be addressed by repatriation.

According to the information of the Russian Embassy in Prague, the Czech Foreign Ministry expressed support of the Russian initiative on refugees and reacted positively to our proposal for closer cooperation in this sphere. The Czech Republic welcomes international cooperation in humanitarian assistance to Syria, adding that Prague has been active in this area in the EU. The Czechs expressed readiness to cooperate in providing humanitarian aid to Syria in the international format.

Report of the senior officer of duty shift of the Joint Coordination Centre Colonel Igor Sergeyev.

According to the revised data, on August 1, in total 189 people left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus (Zabadani), and via al-Dabusya (al-Aarida) 48 people. 

Since July 18, 2018, in total 4,612 refugees have left Lebanon, with 2,893 of them - via the Zemrani CP, Jaydet-Yabus – 1,324 people, 194 people via al-Dabusiyah and 201 people via the al-Qusayr. In total 318 people have passed via the Nasib CP from Jordan.

It is reported that 326 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta - 102 people, in total - 74,130 people;

Homs province - 198 people, in total - 112,820 people.

In total since March 4, 2018 26, 642 people (women – 8,873, children 12,373), 2,864 vehicles and 42,560 heads of cattle left the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Since September 30, 2015, in total 1,446,247 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (362,012 women, 615,449 children).

Over the past 24 hours, there were four humanitarian actions to distribute 11 tons of food supplies.In Kafr Akkar, Aleppo province, Al-Yadudah, Daraa province, Mazlum, Deir ez-Zor province, Al-Dar al-Kabirah, Homs province.

In districts of Aleppo city: Shayban-Pasha, Sheykh-Fars, al-Qasidiyah and Sheykh Hoder, fifteen families of Syrian fallen servicemen received targeted aid.

They assessed the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available.

In order to ensure humanitarian assistance to Syrian and create favorable living conditions for returning refugees, it was decided to supply equipment and assets to:

Tariq al-Bab -  an wheeled crane, diesel generator, 16 duraliminim windows, 6 cu m of cement, 25 cu m of lumber, 450kg of filling and lime, 1,200m of electric cables to recover a school;

Jisrein – a wheeled crane, 24 cu m of cement, 45 cu m of lumber, 32 floor slabs, 1,200 cu m of bricks, 3,200 tubes, 800 pieces of sealing, 48 duraliminim windows and 3,000 meters of electric cables, two dwellings and a power substation;

Saida – a dump truck, 32 cu m of cement, 18 floor slabs, 230 cu m of bricks, 18 duraliminim windows, 1,400m of electric cables, two transformer substations to recover a water intake station and a school.

The SAA engineering units carry on the mine clearance operation in the settlements of Tell-Amari, Talbiseh, Nasiri-Harabesi, Homs province.

3ha of the territory, 20buildings and 1km of roads. They found and defused 72 explosive devices including 10 improvised explosive devices.

In total in Homs province, they cleared up 192.8ha of the territory, 600 buildings and 27.8km of roads. They found and defused 6,407 explosive devices including 2,048 improvised explosive devices.

Report of Branch Head of the Centre for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement, Major General Alexey Tsygankov.

Work continues to expand the geography of crossing points for refugees.

Ten CPs have already deployed for returnees.

one on the Syria-Jordan border;

five at Syria-Lebanon border with support of the Lebanese Operations Staff on Repatriation of Syrian refugees;

two in the Syrian Arab Republic for IDPs (Abu-al-Duhur and al-Salhiyah);

Baniyas seaport (international seaport).

The government of Lebanon in cooperation with the Syrian colleagues organized at special points application offices on voluntary repatriation, including transportation in Lebanon to the checkpoint.

During the deployment of checkpoints, a number of problematic issues was revealed, which are elaborated in the course of the meeting with Chief of the National Security Bureau Ali Mamlouk.

For issuance of a joint United Nations Bulletin on problems of Syrian refugees there was a meeting with the UNHCR's Representative to Syria, Sajjad Malik. Our proposals are generally supported, and forwarded to Geneva to prepare a response, which is expected today.

Heads of local administrations prepared application to the Ministry of Public Works and housebuilding. Delivery is planned in four days. 

In total, in the Syrian Arab Republic:

89 medical and 214 educational organizations have been recovered;

269km of roads were recovered (1km - over the past day);

198.5km of power line have been installed (0.5km - over the past day);

85 power substations, 71 water supply facilities and two fuel-energy complexes have been put into operation.

The Joint Coordination Centre on Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement is being formed in the Syrian Arab Republic.

A meeting was held with Syrian Defence Minster Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, and Chief of National Security Bureau Ali Mamlouk in which the Syrian side received a package of documents, including the organizational structure of the Join Coordination Centre in Moscow, the Centre for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement in the Russian force grouping in Syria, as well as proposals for such structures to be established in Syria. All documents are prepared in Russian and Arabic. A similar package of documents has been submitted to the Office of the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad.

National Reconciliation Committees, made up of the heads of administration, police, sheiks, and representatives of public organizations established in the provinces and towns, take measures to create conditions for returnees and internally displaced persons.

The Centre for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement held some working meetings:

with Chief of the Aleppo State Mukhabarat to discuss the operational situation, a number of civilians wishing to return back home;

with deputy head of Douma administration, mukhtar of Mazlum (Deir ez-Zor) on humanitarian affairs and infrastructure rehabilitation.

Report of Branch Head of the Centre for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement, Major Vladimir Kosolapov.

Since July 23, the Nasib CP has been working in 24-hour operation. The Syrian and Lebanese authorities are cooperating  to address emerging situations.

There are 9 offices deployed at checkpoints:

The administration was appointed, the 24-hour duty is organized. Checkpoint is able to provide the daily receiving, distribution and sending of 4,000 people and 50 cars.

In total 318 people (94 women and 162 children) have passed via the CP from abroad.

Report of Branch Head of the Centre for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement, Ruslan Nigmatulin

Since August 1, the Jeydet Yabus CP has been working in 24-hour operation. The Syrian and Lebanese authorities are cooperating to address emerging situations.

There are 9 offices deployed at checkpoints:

The administration was appointed, the 24-hour duty is organized. Checkpoint is able to provide the daily receiving, distribution and sending of 4,000 people and 50 cars.

In total 1,324 people (262 women and 444 children) have passed via the CP from abroad.

We shall cooperate with the Syrian side on the need to extend personnel at the branches of the Centre for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement. This will increase the capacity of border crossing points. From August 5, each branch of the Centre at the Syrian-Lebanese border increase daily capacity by 500 people and 10 cars.

At present, establishment of the Syrian Joint Centre is about to be formed. Next week we plan to organize a joint meeting of our headquarters through teleconference.

Report by Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev.

The Syrian government also holds the same position, as you can see, is already creating favourable social, economic and living conditions, jobs, provides the required level of security. Local administrations actively participate in the work involving considerable material resources to rebuild infrastructure.

To maintain a high rate of humanitarian relief and speedy repatriation, we call for international organizations, the UN and the countries participating in the negotiations in Geneva format to actively join this work.

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