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Centre for Refugee Affairs and Syrian Joint Coordination Centre on repatriation of Syrian refugees holds first teleconference

On August 7, the Centre for the Reception, Allocation and Accommodation of Refugees (the Centre for Refugee Affairs) and Joint Coordination Committee in Syria held first teleconference on repatriation of Syrian refugees.

Heads of the Centre for Refugee Affairs Branches at the Nasib, Damascus international airport CPs and al-Salhiyah border crossing point for internally displaced persons (IDPs) attended the session to make reports.

Chief of the Centre for the Reception, Allocation and Accommodation of Refugees Major General Alexey Tsygankov reported that:

"Pursuant to the Syrian Governmental Decree dated August 6, 2018 No. 46, a joint coordination centre was established to organise cooperation with ministries concerned. Its objective is to create favourable conditions to facilitate repatriation, ensure decent living conditions in accordance with the capabilities of the State. The new centre is structured basing on initiatives made by the Russian side.

Local Administration Minister Hussein Makhlouf is appointed the head of the new organisation. This decision was made due to the fact that all executive aithorities in the provinces (beginning from governor) are subordinate to him.

Yesterday, I had a working meeting with Mr. Makhlouf. We clarified objectives, plan for upcoming events and procedure for cooperation.

There was also a meeting with Syrian Minister of Education Hazwan al-Waz. It was discussed what are the main areas in cooperation aimed to rehabilitate educational infrastructure, to define needs in construction materials and school supplies to further make a list of schools ready to open for the new school year.

Unemployment is one of the factors that impede repatriation. Therefore, Syrian government and Russian Joint Coordination Committee considers rehabilitation of civil and social infrastructure to be the top-priority objective. Rehabilitation is progressing well due to coordinated efforts.

Ten CPs have already deployed for returnees.

one on the Syria-Jordan border (Nasib);

five on the Syria-Lebanon borderwith support of the Lebanese operational HQ on repatriation of Syrian refugees – Zemrani, Jaydet-Yabus, al-Dabusiyah, Talkalakh, and al-Qusayr;

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

CPs at Damascus international airport and Baniyas seaport.

Experts of the Belgian institution responsible for the reception of asylum seekers (Fedasil) considering the return of Syrian refugees by airlift. I draw your attention that CPs should be ready to receive Syrian refugees around the clock. It is extremely important to keep accurate records of returnees.  I ask you to be demanding and careful in doing this.”

Major Vladimir Kosolapov, the head of the Centre for Refugee Affairs Branch, reported on functioning of the Nasib CP:

“The Nasib CP on the Syria-Jordan border works as planned. It has duty shifts and all required material stocks available. In total 318 people (95 women and 162 children) have passed via the CP from abroad. We have no issues of concern.”

Colonel Alexey Petrov, the head of the Centre for Refugee Affairs Branch, reported on functioning of the Salhiyah CP:

“The al-Salhiyah CP has worked since August 1. The Syrian and Lebanese authorities are cooperating  to address emerging situations. The administration was appointed, the 24-hour duty is organized. Checkpoint is able to daily receive, allocate and send 800 people and 10 cars. We have no issues of concern.”

Captain Roman Chebotarev, the head of the Centre for Refugee Affairs Branch, reported on functioning of the Damascus international airport CP:

“The CP at the Damascus international airport works as planned. It has duty shifts and all required material stocks available. We have no issues of concern.”

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