5 Jul 2018 17:35

Moscow welcomes Damascus' call on refugees to return to Syria

MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) - Moscow supports an official statement published in Damascus on July 3, in which the Syrian government called on refugees to return home, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its official website.

"Moscow welcomes the abovementioned statement indicating Damascus's determination to restore the unity of Syria and Syrians and to move to peaceful life and reconstruction as soon as possible," the statement says.

"The return of Syrian refugees to their homeland would promote the stabilization of the situation both in Syria itself and in the Middle Eastern region as a whole and the lessening of the financial-economic burden and social inconveniencies; this problem exists in numerous countries, primarily Syria's neighbors," it said.

Russia "does not recognize the anti-Russian sanctions unilaterally imposed by a number of countries and inter-state associations and considers them as a serious obstacle in the way of the complete eradication of the terrorist threat in Syria and a political settlement in this country based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254," it said.

Damascus' statement talks about the Syrian government's responsibility for security and inviolability of citizens and about ensuring their needs through the functioning of schools, medical establishments and other socioeconomic infrastructure institutions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

At the same time, it welcomes a contribution by humanitarian agencies and the international community to providing conditions for Syrian citizens to voluntarily return home. "It has been said in this context that Syria expects the international community and its specialized agencies to lift the unlawful unilateral restrictions imposed on the Syrian people," it said.

"We expect that members of the international community, the UN and its specialized agencies will respond to Damascus's invitation and redouble their efforts to provide assistance to Syria and its people in forming favorable preconditions for Syrian refugees' voluntary and worthy return. We stand ready for close interaction with our partners," it said.

"Russia will continue to provide assistance and support to its friend Syria, including in normalizing peaceful life, reconstructing what has been destroyed, and providing the necessary preconditions for refugees and temporarily displaced persons to return to their homes," the ministry said.