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Hosting of Syrian refugees stems from Jordan’s values, traditions — Safadi


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Jordan has hosted Syrian refugees and spared no effort in providing them with services and care, in alignment with the Kingdom’s values and traditions, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Wednesday. 
“The Kingdom’s righteous actions align with its values despite difficult economic conditions and require the international community to do what is right as well,” Safadi said, adding that the international community must assist the Kingdom as it shoulders the burdens of the refugee crisis and its repercussions, which have posed high costs and pressures on the education and health sectors, among others, as well as the infrastructure and labour market, a Foreign Ministry statement said. 
During a conference on the issue of refugees, organised by the EU and the UN on the sidelines of the General Assembly meetings held in New York, Safadi expressed appreciation to the EU, UN institutions and the international community for their aid to the Kingdom as it continues to face the refugee crisis, noting that, at its current level, this support only covers a “small portion” of the costs incurred by Jordan. 
The minister stressed the need for a political resolution to the Syrian crisis that is accepted by Syria’s people, maintains the country’s unity and stability, restores its security, achieves national reconciliation and sets the stage for the voluntary return of refugees.
Safadi also participated in a meeting of neighbouring countries to Syria that host refugees, attended by the foreign ministers of Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq, which tackled developments to the refugee crisis and ways to address them, as well as the prospects of the refugees’ voluntary return to their country. 
Jordan encourages the voluntary return of Syrian refugees to their country and continues to provide them with all it can until they do so, the minister said.
The attending ministers agreed to continue coordination and discussion on developments to the issue of the refugees through meetings to be held between top officials from the four countries, in cooperation with international stakeholder institutions. 
Safadi also held separate meetings with Turkish Foreign Minister Mouloud Gawishoglu, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Alhakim and Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil to discuss bilateral relations and regional developments. 
Safadi also participated in a meeting called for by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and attended by foreign ministers from Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Iraq, which tackled tensions in the Arab Gulf and the recent drone attacks that targeted Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities. 
During the meeting, Safadi highlighted the Kingdom’s stance in condemnation of the attacks as a “dangerous escalation”, reiterating Jordan’s support to Saudi Arabia with regards to any measures taken to protect the country’s security and stability. 
The minister urged de-escalation of the crisis through dialogue based on the principles of good neighbourly relations and non-interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries, noting that the issue could “explode into a war, catastrophic for the region”. 
Developments to the Palestinian cause were at the forefront during Safadi’s meetings with his counterparts, according to the statement.
Safadi and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde are on Thursday scheduled to co-chair an international conference to rally financial and political support to the UNRWA. 
The meeting is expected to be attended by UN Secretary General António Guterres, President of the United Nations General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, in addition to foreign ministers and representatives from 31 countries and institutions, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. 
The conference has been coorganised by Jordan and Sweden on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.

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