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Joint coordination headquarters hold another session in Moscow to discuss the repatriation of Syrian refugees

Good Morning, esteemed colleagues!

Today we are holding our regular joint session of the interdepartmental coordination headquarters of the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic for the return the refugees to Syria.

The UN representatives are taking part in our session for the second time. I would like to thank Ms. Corinne Fleischer the UN Senior Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria,  who currently represents the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, for agreeing not only to attend, but as well to voice the assessments of the world organization for facilitating the process of returning Syrian refugees back to their homeland.

Openness and effectiveness of work performed by Russian and Syrian joint coordinating headquarters on the in respect of the UN basic principles concerning refugees produce positive results.

At present, more than 1,851,424 Syrian citizens have returned to their homes, out of them more than 1,302,870 are internal displaced persons and more than 548,554 are refugees from abroad.

Since July 1, 35,928 Syrian citizens, including more than 1,577 people from various areas within the country and more than 34,351 from foreign territories, returned to their places of residence.)

The number of citizens arriving in the country is increasing. The biggest number of refugees arrives from Jordan. We would like to underline the steady increase in the number of returnees from the territory of Lebanon. Due to the coordinated efforts of the Lebanese and Syrian authorities, on 12 July 2019, for the first time, a large organized group of refugees from Lebanon was sent to the pre-war places of residence, numbering approximately 950.

Today, thanks to the consistent and coordinated actions of Russia and Syria, more than 17,000 Syrian citizens, who were forcibly detained in Rukban camp, located in the US-occupied 55-kilometer “Al-Tanf” zone, were able to get out. The Syrian government fulfills guarantees in strict accordance with the basic principles of the UN to ensure the voluntary, safe and dignified return of civilians from the camp.

Despite the objective difficulties associated with the country's post-war reconstruction, all returning Syrians are provided with food, medical care and other necessary assistance. Issues of document recovery are promptly resolved. As a result of the high efficiency of the work carried out in the field, as soon as possible, families receive housing, all able-bodied citizens are provided with jobs, and children began to go to school.

The pace of infrastructure rehabilitation and destroyed agriculture is increasing. Total in different parts of the country repaired and put into operation: 5,906 residential buildings, 332 medical facilities, 1,538 educational institutions, 337 of water supply facilities, 372 bakeries, 1,152 electrical substations, 14,422 industrial enterprises.

All of this witness than the peaceful life establishment in Syria is already irreversible, and more and more returning Syrians are became convinced of the improvement the situation in the country.

But, particular Western countries are not willing to recognize the achievements of the Syrian authorities in the restoration of a decent life in the republic. Take a non-constructive position at various international platforms regarding the Russian and Syrian initiative to return the refugees. Anti-Syrian rhetoric continues to dominate at the information space of Western countries.

The rapidly deterioration of the already extremely difficult humanitarian situation in “Rukban and Al-Hol” refugee camps located in the illegally occupied by United States territories of Syria is a matter of serious concern. The real situation whiteness that despite the numerous promises of American side, the majority of the most pressing problems of IDPs are being in these camps have not been resolved since the beginning of this year.

In addition, the presences of terrorists’ family members, in those camps, as well as the prevailing social and sanitary-epidemiological situation, are fertile ground for the radicalization of its inhabitants and the spread of ISIS ideology.

The illegal presence of US troops in Syria is the main reason, which does not allow stabilize the situation in the occupied areas. We are confident that the only way to save the Syrians lies through the final disbandment of the camps.

In this regard, the position of the American leadership, voiced recently by the special representative of the US president for Syria, James Jeffrey, who re-blamed the plight of the Syrians in Rukban on Russia and Syria, looks absurd. At the same time, they cynically declare that, despite the fact that the camp is located in the US-controlled area, they do not intend to provide its residents with food and essential items, as this would delay the stay of the American troops in Al-Tanf zone for an indefinite period.

Isn't it the top of international gangsterism and anti-humanism? Comments, hereby, are unnecessary.

We would like to thank the efforts of the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which, finally, was actively involved in the work of evacuating people from Rukban. We positively assess the operation plan prepared by the United Nations for the withdrawal of the remaining inhabitants of this "ghetto camp” within a month.

Currently, the details of the plan are in process of agreement. According to the concept of operation, the withdrawal of refugees is to be carried out by five-day cycles, approximately 3500 people per every 5 days.

We consider, the only way to resolve the Syrian crisis is to eliminate international terrorism, the withdrawal of foreign troops and the formation illegally presented in the SAR, returning of IDPs and refugees to the places of permanent residence, respect for the national sovereignty of Syria, following with the post-conflict reconstruction of country.

I would like, through the representative of the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to draw the attention of leadership the respected international organization to the imbalance of provision of humanitarian assistance by the relevant structures of the world organization. In the areas in need of such assistance controlled by legitimate government humanitarian aid is shipped in a much smaller volume than in the same Idlib through cross-border channels.

We expect that while planning of humanitarian action by the international organizations on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic will be taken into account the needs of all Syrian citizens throughout the country.

Esteemed colleagues! Mr. Andrei Mustaev, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation will brief you on the progress of the implementation measures for the return of refugees to the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. Mr. Andrei, please

Statement by Russian MFA representative.

Good Morning, Esteemed colleagues!

In the past period, a priority effort Russian Foreign Ministry on the Syrian track was fostering favorable conditions for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of permanent residence. We consider the solution of this task as a key point on the way to achieving long-term stabilization in Syria while maintaining its sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity.

On that purpose, we continued to work closely with the authorities of the SAR, contact with international and regional partners, and specialized UN agencies. In particular, the relevant topics were discussed during a visit to Tehran, Ankara and Damascus from 9-12 July by a Russian interdepartmental delegation headed by the special representative of the President of Russia on a Syrian settlement

Mr A. Lavrentyev, which also included Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr S. Vershinin and representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

Currently, the greatest concern is the grave humanitarian situation being faced by IDPs in the largest camps located outside the control zone of the Syrian government: Rukban - on the south and al-Hol - on the north-east of the country.

Largely due to the efforts of the Russian side, supported by the United Nations and neighboring Jordan, the Syrian authorities gradually manage to unblock the situation around Rukban. However, a fundamental solution to the problem is possible only camp with its dissolution. At the same time, it’s categorically impossible to allow for its existence on a reduced scale, since in this case the Rukban would in fact turn into a terrorist base, covered with a shield of civilians.

The reason for the continuing humanitarian disaster in the Rukban we see in the preservation of the illegal US military presence in Syria. Washington, in accordance with the norms of international humanitarian law is responsible for the population living in the occupied territory. In this regard, we expect the American side is constructive approach to the issue In this regard, we expect the American side is constructive approach to the issue to the expeditious liquidation of the camp. In turn, we are ready, through the available channels, to discuss with partners concrete coordinated actions aimed at accomplishing this task.

Anxiously monitor the catastrophic situation in the camp, al-Hol. Inhabited mainly by women and children, the camp is overcrowded. There is an acute shortage of the most basic - water, food, and medicines. There is no possibility of compliance with basic rules of personal hygiene. All this leads to the spread of infectious diseases. We call on all members of the international community to provide assistance to the Syrians in the implementation of urgent humanitarian problems. We are convinced that it is necessary to act on these issues in the spirit of the basic humanitarian principles - politically neutral, objective and impartial manner.

Report is completed.

Statement by Colonel-General M. Mizintsev.

Esteemed Andrei, thanks for the detailed report. It is difficult to overestimate the efforts of the diplomatic corps in promoting the initiative on return refugees at all international sites, solving the problems of the Rukban and al-Hol refugee camps, the establishment of the Syrian Constitutional Committee and the promotion of the restoration of Syria’s full membership in the League of Arab States. I wish you success in these directions.

I would like kindly request the head of the inter-agency coordination headquarters of Syria, the Minister of Municipal Administration and Ecology of the Syrian Arab Republic, Mr.Hussein Makhlyuf to brief on the measures taken to return the Syrian citizens to the pre-war places of residence.

Dear Mr. Makhlyuf, please!

Statement by Mr. Hussein Makhluf

Esteemed colleagues!

The Syrian government, with the assistance of the Russian side continues to increase the range of tasks in the framework of the initiative for the return of its citizens who were forced to leave their homeland due to the war against international terrorism. The volume of work in the liberated areas of the republic to restore educational and medical institutions, transport infrastructure and other social facilities is increasing.

Currently 345 settlements Aleppo provinces, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Daraa, Es-Suwayda, Quneitra and Raqqa, work is underway to restore and repair 2,549 homes, 221 schools, 165 preschool institutions, 214 medical institutions, 191 bakeries, 208 electrical substations, 252 water pumping stations and 93 places of worship.

From early June to the present, 18 educational and 13 medical institutions have been restored, over 22 km of roads repaired, over 20 km of power lines laid, 13 water supply facilities, 25 bakeries, 42 electric substations, 60 industrial enterprises commissioned.

Apart of this, in Aleppo city completed the restoration of the central Al-Saktyya urban market, which in addition to the socio-economic importance has historical value and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Opening outlets planned in the near future, which will contribute to the creation of new jobs and the development of handicraft production and meeting the needs of the population.

To support young people and low-income families returning to their homeland, the Syrian government implements the state project of social housing. The project has built more than 13,000 residential apartment buildings economy class. In the current year it is planned to put another 6000 such houses.

In the field of education, in cooperation with our Russian friends the process of rebuilding schools continues. The SAR Government has taken the necessary measures for the selection and appointment of teachers in them. Following the results of 2018-2019 academic year, more than 300 thousand students receive a certificate of basic general education and more than 240 thousand students passed the final exam for the certificate of secondary education.

In order to prepare for the new school year, a test of the level of knowledge of school-age children was organized for a more efficient distribution of students into grades. Students returning to their homeland will also receive an education.

The preparation of the most important event for Syria, the 61st Damascus International Fair, is continuing. This forum, in which 24 states have already confirmed their participation, will demonstrate Syria’s achievements in the agricultural, industrial and commercial spheres and its cultural aspects, which will undoubtedly contribute to maintaining the national economy and attracting additional investments. In addition, the holding of international fair will be one of the most important victories of Syria indicators in addressing security challenges and restore stability in most parts of the country.

The SAR government continues to overcome the sanctions, which may prevent the return of refugees and is working to create favorable conditions for their speedy return to their homes. The effectiveness of the measures taken by the Syrian authorities is evidenced by the increasing flow of refugees from Jordan and Lebanon. From these countries since the beginning of the year, more than 319,274 Syrians have returned to their homeland.

The SAR government believes that the best solution to the Rukban camp is to disband it and to end the US occupation of the area. Together with our Russian friends, we continue to work to end the suffering of the people in the camp and ensure their safety and safe return to their homes as soon as possible. But the US and its allies continued obstruction that lay it back and tighten the crisis.

In conclusion, I would like to draw the attention of the international community to the need for the earliest possible removal of crippling unilateral sanctions imposed on the people of the SAR by the United States and its allies, which will accelerate the process of restoring the country's infrastructure and economy and will increase the flow of Syrian refugees.

Thank you for the attention!

Statement by Colonel-General M. Mizintsev.

Dear Mr. Makhlyuf, thank you for the detailed report. Of course, the Syrian government is doing everything possible to revive the country. There are still many ambitious and complex tasks to be solved on the way to building a peaceful life. I wish you success in the implementation of goals!

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and migrants Syrian Arab Republic Dr. Feisal Miqdad will brief you on the results of the work of the Syrian diplomatic initiatives in promoting the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

Esteemed Mr. Feisal, please.

Statement by Dr. Feisal Miqdad.

Good morning!

At the beginning I want to thank the head of the Russian JCH and the members of the joint coordination committee and note the efforts of the representatives of the friendly Russian Federation for their fruitful efforts in combating terrorism and providing Syria with assistance in stabilizing the situation and restoring security, as well as creating the necessary conditions for the refugees to return to their homes.

I am convinced that the Syrian government is making every effort to ease the suffering of refugees and expedite the process of returning them to their homes, because they are the children of our country. To achieve this objective, the Government, in cooperation with state and public organizations, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society organized and held two humanitarian convoys to the refugee camp Rukban.

The SAR government believes that the best solution to the Rukban camp problem is to eliminate it and to stop the US from seizing this area. We hold meetings with the representatives of the United Nations to end the suffering of people who are in the camp, and guarantee the safe return of the inhabitants to their homes in the near future.

I note that today the United States and under their control terrorist organizations opposed to the end of a humanitarian tragedy and abandonment of people in the camp, and create conditions that serve their political interests and goals. They intimidate the population, push political conditions to hinder the return of refugees and hold them hostage to justify their illegal presence in Syria. The United States is the invaders of the territory and is responsible for providing the necessary humanitarian assistance to people who are in the camp.

Cooperation with Russian friends proved to be effective. Currently, they have gained high confidence in us from their high humanity. Therefore, together with the Russian side, with the support of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the Higher Rescue Committee, we were able to bring closer the moment when a third of the camp’s population returned to their homes in Homs, Reef Damascus and other places.

We have agreed to the UN representatives to visit the temporary accommodation centers for refugees returning from Rukban. After visiting the Center, some UN representatives praised the services provided by the state, and the refugees placed there also have given the positive remarks about their habitation.

More than 2 million refugees voluntarily returned to the SAR. To support this process, we urge the UN and its representations to more actively use their international potential on solving the problems of Syrian refugees.

It should be noted that the topic of the return of refugees was and remains for Western countries or the so-called donor countries a topic of political maneuvers and bargaining. These countries are clamoring for a speedy return of refugees to their homes, but when it comes to real return, they begin to conduct propaganda of intimidation directed at the refugees to keep them from returning to their homeland. At the last conference of donor countries in Brussels, a concluding statement was made about political conditions that the SAR categorically does not accept, because the money falls into the hands of suspicious individuals who want to cash in on the sufferings of the refugees. It is also not conducive to the return of refugees.

Undoubtedly, the SAR government is also seeking opportunities to simplify the procedure for the return of the remaining population of the Rukban camp to their homes, which were abandoned because of the terrorists. This process should be provided with logistics, temporary accommodation centers, work with international organizations to provide all necessary for temporary stay of refugees in these centers, food, medicines, medical care and other needs, if these organizations wish so. It is also necessary to work out the documents relating to the status for those who need it.

The head of state issued a decree on amnesty of refugees from all fines and obligations they have to the state. Mentioned whether these humanitarian organizations about this? On the other hand, decree number 10 unjustifiably outraged them.

Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and migrants working in close coordination with other ministries to achieve their goals. Coordination and consultation with our Russian friends will be continued in order to search for any possible liquidation paths of the camp Rukban and quick return of the camp population to their homes in the SAR.

Thanks for attention!

Statement by Colonel-General M. Mizintsev

Dr. Feisal Mikdad, thank you for the informative report.

Kindly requesting the governor of Rif Damascus to brief on the results of work on creating conditions conducive to the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to the places of pre-war residence and integration into the peaceful life of returning Syrian citizens.

Esteemed Mr. Alyaa Munir Ibrahim, please.

Statement by the Governor of the Rif Damascus province, Mr. Alya Munir Ibrahim.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen!

At the outset, I would like to thank our friends from Russia for providing comprehensive assistance to Syrian citizens in returning to their homeland and restoring peaceful life.

Before the outbreak of hostilities, 2.9 million people lived in the province of Rif Damascus. As a result of the actions of terrorist gangs, over 800,000 people were forced to leave their homes. After the victory over international terrorism, the provincial administration takes all necessary measures to create decent conditions for the return of its citizens to the pre-war places.

To date, the province authorities have met 232,000 or 29% of our citizens and realize a complex of early integration measures for a peaceful life.

Continuously, work is underway to restore the infrastructure and social facilities of the province. In 2019 alone, 2 industrial enterprises (an aluminum product factory and household appliances), 9 medical centers, 42 schools, 67 shops and 12 markets, 9 bakeries, 14 electric substations and 5 water pump stations were restored in the province.

In order to resettle refugees and internally displaced persons, over 2,000 economy-class apartment buildings were built in the province, in which more than 180,000 people have already been accommodated.

Much work has been done to restore the transport infrastructure of the province. So, in June of this year, the international bus station again began to function. This allowed to improve the quality of passenger service and increase passenger traffic. Restored international bus service with neighboring Arab states. Thus, Syrian citizens who left for Jordan and Lebanon from the horrors of war, had the opportunity to return to Syria by road.

According to the heads of district administrations and cities of the province, ex-refugees receiving maximum social support. At the same time, thanks to our Russian friends are conducted targeted humanitarian actions. Since the beginning of the year, humanitarian assistance has been provided to citizens in 21 settlements. Food packages received more than 10 thousand people in need.

Much attention is also paid to addressing the issue of unemployment among residents of the province. New jobs are being created. As a result of vigorous activity Employment Committee of the Ministry of Social Affairs, more than 28 thousand people since the beginning of the year were employed or were registered as being in need.

Achieved in the province of the results in the restoration of infrastructure, social facilities and the integration of refugees into civilian life demonstrate our interest in the speedy return of our citizens in their homes. The provincial administration is ready to provide all necessary assistance and support to all citizens wishing to return to their homes.

Thanks for attention.

Statement by Colonel General M. Mizintsev

Esteemed Governor! Thank you for your informative report. I wish you success in solving the most important task of ensuring a decent life for Syrian citizens who have returned to their homes.

On the implementation of the withdrawal plan of refugees from the occupied areas al-Tanf, as well as carrying out the tasks, please report the head of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation and Refugee Affairs, Major-General Alexei Bakin.

Esteemed Major-General, please!

Statement by Major-General A. Bakin

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen!

Refugees crossing points continue to operate normally. The main flows of refugees arriving in the country go through the Syrian-Lebanese and Syrian-Jordanian borders.

From 10 June from Lebanon via checkpoints Dzheydet-Yabus and Tal-Kalakh have returned 16,381 refugees.

From Jordan via the checkpoint Nasib - 46,501 people.

3,774 IDPs have returned to their places of permanent residence, of which: 70 people through the al-Salhiyah checkpoint; 3,704 individuals returned via the Djleb checkpoint (Homs province).

In order to finally resolve the issue of the withdrawal of refugees from the Rukban camp, the Russian Center for Reconciliation held working meetings with representatives of the UN, the Syrian National Security Bureau, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Migrants, the Ministry of Municipal Administration and Ecology, and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

With common efforts developed an operation plan for the withdrawal of the remaining civilians from the Rukban within 30 days. At the moment, technical consultations are continuing to coordinate the details of the plan with all interested parties. I hope that in the near future we will finally put a fat point on the issues of the withdrawal of refugees and the liquidation of the Rukban camp, which will undoubtedly benefit the Syrian people.

The Syrian side, together with the staff of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, has already carried out all the organizational measures necessary for the dignified reception of Rukban refugees. A sufficient number of places have been prepared for their placement in the temporary accommodation centers of the province of Homs: Mahmud Usman, Al Baraa Bin Malik, Abdurakhman Shatur, Mahad Itat Medresse.

Since the beginning of June, the Russian side has organized and conducted 42 humanitarian and charitable actions in 18 localities, during which approximately 95 tons of humanitarian and more than 7 tons of charitable goods were issued.

In order to stabilize social tensions in the southern provinces, the Reconciliation Center for the first time in the past three months carried out a humanitarian action in the village of Anhul in the province of Daraa, 750 food packages with a total weight of more than 3.5 tons were distributed to the local population.

The provision of medical care to people in need in Syria continues. In total, medical assistance from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation provided assistance to over 105,505 Syrians.

Statement by Colonel-General M. Mizintsev

Esteemed Alexei, thank you.

I would request Ms. Corinne Fleischer to brief on the assessment on the matter of facilitating the process on returning Syrian refugees.

Ms. Corinne, Please!

Statement by Corinne Fleisсher.

Spontaneous Returns

Inform that according to information available to the UN, just over 2 million spontaneous returns have been recorded in Syria over the past three years – 674,000 (2017), 1.2 million (2018) and 136,000 in 2019.

Highlight that the vast majority of those who have voluntarily returned are spontaneous IDP-returnees, and with 56,000 registered refugees returning home in 2018 41,570 so far in 2019 (according to UNHCR’s figures). Acknowledge that actual numbers of returns are likely to be higher, as these figures reflect self-organized returns with deregistration only. Returns so far in 2019 represent more than three-quarters of the total who returned in 2018 (just over 55,500).

Reiterate that as the situation in Syria has stabilized, more Syrians are opting to return home despite the difficult conditions to which they return – including neighborhoods contaminated with explosive hazards; depleted livelihoods and savings; damaged or destroyed homes; and limited access to basic services.

Advise that the humanitarian community has so far supported 3.8 million people (cumulative returnees and host communities alike) in high-returnee areas with a range of assistance in 2019, including: WASH, food, shelter, legal aid and livelihoods, health, education and protection. Activities implemented include – amongst others -the rehabilitation of water and sewerage networks; monthly food distributions; mine risk education; agricultural and livelihoods inputs provision; urgent repairs to health clinics and schools; and the creation of job opportunities; provision of documentation; and shelter repair among others.

Note that high returnee areas assisted in 2019 include Aleppo, Ar Raqqa, Dar’a, Deir-ez-Zour, Hama and Rural Damascus.

Inform that the top five governorates receiving returnees in 2017 was Aleppo (445,000), Hama (88,000), Ar Raqqa (47,000), Idleb (32,000), and Dar’a (14,500), compared with Deir-ez-Zour (295,000), Aleppo (162,000), Ar Raqqa (135,000), Idleb (115,000) and Rural Damascus (100,000) in 2018.

Humanitarian Response

Highlight that the humanitarian community provides assistance based on needs and not status.

Reinforce that the humanitarian community remains committed to ensuring that returnee populations have freedom of movement and the right to establish residency in their place of choice; access to civil documentation to register and receive IDs, birth certificates and marriage certificates; and to supporting the reintegration of populations after what has potentially been years away from their areas of origin / areas of choice.

Stress that the humanitarian community would like to do more to support returnee populations. To do that humanitarian actors requests to carry out independent need assessments and timely approvals to implement projects.

Note that recovery works in Eastern Ghouta, for example, were hampered by the slow pace with which partners were authorized to operate in returnee areas through regular programming, and that such delays should be avoided in the future.

Inform that the Syria Humanitarian Fund will allocate approximately US $25 million to respond to needs in Dar’a, Rural Damascus and Quneitra in the south, including in high-returnee areas such as Babella, Duma and Eastern Ghouta (Rural Damascus); As Sanamayn, Izra and Nawa (Dar’a); and Khan Arnaba (Quneitra).

Rukban

Inform that according to UN figures 17,080 people (40.96%) out of 41,700 residents have so far left Rukban.

Note that the UN is supporting people in the shelters through SARC.  It was also granted access to visit the shelters where transit takes place for usually 24-48 hours and were conditions are deemed adequate.

Inform that assistance is also being provided in areas of second destination. Over the past few months, mobile clinics have attended to hundreds of cases in areas where returnees from Rukban are currently residing, while more than 2,500 food parcels have been distributed to around 2,000 families as of mid-July. Additional community centres are also being set up to support returnee populations. Highlight that in 2018 protection partners established some 335 community centres offering returnee populations a combination of community well-being services, including child friendly spaces, women and girls’ safe spaces, psychosocial support as well as general and legal counseling on civil documentation.

Stress that the humanitarian community is committed to collaborating with the government and relevant entities in the search for durable solutions for people in Rukban, in particular voluntary return.

Note that following the request made by the RF for the UN to facilitate transport, a joint SARC/UN operational plan has been developed as a proposed way forward. The note – which has already been shared with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – seeks agreement to:  1) conduct a needs assessment as soon as possible; 2) facilitate transport; 3) provide a package of assistance to those remaining in the camp (consistent with what people will be provided with in transit when they leave and arrive at the shelters, with additional support made available to individual cases as required, such as medical treatment / family tracing and reunification etc.). Stress the UN will not be able to go inside the camp with empty trucks – which is also a matter of security for our teams – and seek the RF’s support for the proposed way forward.

Reiterate again that our ability to adequately support returnee populations will be dependent on the humanitarian community’s ability to observe conditions for people returning to their area of origin/and or choice. Highlight this is important to ensure adequate/appropriate support to this population as well as for accountability reasons.

Idlib

Inform that SARC has provided food and NFI support to approximately 22,500 returnees (from southern and eastern Idlib) in Sinjar since the beginning of May and that they have requested further support from the UN to respond to needs in the area.

Note that humanitarian partners in Syria are also continuing to prepare for a potential influx of up to 100,000 people to government-held areas. Advise that while sectors have confirmed capacity to provide first line support to 100,000 people displaced into government-held areas of North West Syria, including with ready-to-eat rations, two months food assistance, some shelter and NFI kits, as well as emergency WASH supplies, health and protection assistance. UN has requested additional US $26 million to meet anticipated needs.

Statement by Colonel-General M. Mizintsev

Ms. Corinne, thank you for the detailed report and your assessment of the situation. It is bound to be taken into account in our work. We are counting on closer interaction with the respected international organization that you represent. Certainly the work of humanitarian agencies of the United Nations should rather go to the application plane, not be politicized, and in fact, help to alleviate the lives of ordinary Syrian citizens who suffered from the war against the terrorism.

Today, in a joint operation of interagency coordination headquarters Russia and Syria UN representatives were given the opportunity to see firsthand the effectiveness of the Syrian government steps to rebuild the country and the early return of its citizens to a peaceful life.

The format of our joint work provides an opportunity for the rest of the international community who declare their desire to end the suffering of ordinary Syrians, including those in the Rukban camp, to take an active part in their destiny, suggest concrete steps and inform about the work already done.

Dear colleagues, this meeting is over. The joint statement by the joint coordination headquarters of Russia and Syria will be published today in the media in Russian, English and Arabic languages within two hours after the end of our meeting.

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