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Russian and Syrian joint coordination headquarters make another statement on the plight of the Syrians in the Rukban and al-Hol camps

JOINT STATEMENT

by joint coordination headquarters of the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic "the problems hindering the return of refugees from the Rukban and al-Hol camps"

July 24, 2019.

Today we hold another session of joint coordination headquarters of the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic with the participation of representatives of relevant UN structures and international aid agencies.

Representatives of the joint coordination committees of Russia and Syria continue close cooperation in order to implement repatriation of Syrian refugees.

At present there are 1,854,038 Syrian returnees including 1,302,876 internally displaced persons and 551,162 refugees from abroad.

The number of citizens arriving to the country continues to increase. Mainly the returnees are crossing the Syrian-Jordanian borders. There is a steady increase in the number of returnees from Lebanon. The achieved indicators show the effectiveness of the measures taken by the Syrian government to establish a peaceful life in Syria.

Under these conditions, it is unclear that instead of assisting the Syrian leadership in the issues of returning refugees to their homeland, the United States and its allies continue to create obstacles, putting forward new conditions and demands under the pretext of protecting the rights of refugees.

Regret to note the recent intensification of the activities of non-governmental organizations and the media controlled by the American side, which create additional obstacles to the process of the return of Syrian citizens to their homeland from the territory of Syria neighboring countries.

We believe that the assimilation of Syrians in the territories of host countries is unacceptable for economic and social reasons. The presence of a large number of refugees in these countries has already led to an increase in social tensions.

We are convinced that countries that have hosted Syrians are not able to provide them with economic and social conditions that exceed the similar indicators created for them in their homeland. All fears of persecution by the authorities are unfounded. The government guarantees them security and a simplified procedure for recovering documents.

The rapid deterioration of the already extremely difficult humanitarian situation in the Rukban and al-Hol refugee camps located in the illegally occupied US territories of Syria is a matter of serious concern. The real situation in the camps shows that despite the numerous promises of the American side, of the most pressing problems of the internally displaced persons in them since the beginning of this year have not been resolved.

In addition, the presence in camps of family members of terrorists, as well as the prevailing social and criminal situation, are fertile ground for the radicalization of its inhabitants and the spread of ISIS ideology.

The illegal presence of US troops in Syria continues to be the main reason for not stabilizing the situation in the areas they occupied.

In this regard, we welcome the efforts of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, which prepared a plan for the withdrawal of people from Rukban, in accordance with which it is planned to evacuate the remaining civilians of this camp within a month.

The Syrian side, together with the staff of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, has already carried out all the organizational measures necessary for a decent reception of Rukban refugees, and a sufficient number of places have been prepared for their placement in the temporary accommodation centres of Homs province: Mahmud Usman, Al-Baraa Bin Malik, Abdurahman Shatur, Mahad Itar Medrese.

We expect that the implementation of the plan for the disbandment of Rukban will contribute to the withdrawal of American troops from the al-Tanf zone, since the declared need to maintain the US military base in southern Syria will disappear.

We believe that the only way to resolve the Syrian crisis is the destruction of remnants of international terrorism, the withdrawal of foreign troops and formations illegally stationed in the SAR, the return of internally displaced persons and refugees to their places of permanent residence, and respect for the national sovereignty of Syria, followed by post-conflict reconstruction of the country.

We urge the international community not to turn a blind eye to the policy of unilateral Western sanctions against the Syrian Arab Republic, complicating the delivery of humanitarian aid to the country, the implementation of remittances, the supply of medical equipment and which are the root cause of the fuel crisis in the country.

Head of Russian Joint Coordination Committee on Repatriation of Syrian Refugees - Head of National Centre for State Defence Control of the Russian Federation

Mizintsev M.

Head of Syrian Joint Coordination Committee on Repatriation of Syrian Refugees - Local Administration Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic

Makhlouf H.

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