Syria calls on refugees to return home

A Syrian refugee tries to remove mud and water from around his tent at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. (File photo)

Syria has called on those of its citizens who have left the country due to the unrest that began nearly two years ago to return home.

The Syrian Interior Ministry said in a statement that the government would help citizens come back, whether they left “legally or illegally,” the official SANA news agency reported on Thursday.

The statement added that the ministry would issue executive instructions to Syria’s Administration of Passports and Immigration to organize the citizens’ return and settle their cases.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a report on December 8, 2012, “There are around 109,000 refugees formally registered within the agency and 41,000 others currently contacting it to be registered.”

The agency added that over 55,870 Syrian refugees were stationed in northern Lebanon and that more than 44,170 were settled in Bekaa, adding that around 9,000 others were in Beirut and the south of the country.

The Syrian Interior Ministry also stated that all Syrian opposition figures abroad who were willing to participate in the national dialogue would be permitted to return.

Those who return will be received through the airports and border points of Nasseb, Jdaidat Yabous, al-Tanf, al-Arida, al-Dabousea, al-Ya’arubiya and Kassab in coordination with the Syrian Red Crescent, the statement said.

On January 6, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stated that Damascus was always ready to hold talks with the opposition and political parties and that he would call for a “comprehensive national dialogue” after the terrorist activities stopped in the country.

MKA/HSN

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