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UN urges more support for Syrian refugees ahead of Geneva II

English.news.cn   2014-01-18 19:36:15

SANLIURFA, Turkey, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Ahead of the upcoming Geneva II peace conference, representatives of Syria's neighboring countries along with the UN refugee agency called on the international community to pay attention to the growing humanitarian plight in the conflict-torn country.

"Geneva II cannot be indifferent to the humanitarian dimension of the Syrian conflict and dramatic suffering of the Syrian people. Conditions must be created for humanitarian agencies to grant unimpeded access for all victims of the conflict, no matter where they are in Syria," a final declaration of the second round of the Ministerial Meeting of Countries Bordering Syria said on Friday.

The meeting, which was held at a refugee camp in Harran town in Turkey's southern province of Sanliurfa, was attended by ministers from Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt's deputy foreign minister in order to discuss aid efforts for the large influx of Syrian refugees.

The UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres appealed to all countries to maintain an open door policy for fleeing Syrian refugees despite difficulties and financial hardship.

"We are calling on all borders to be open to Syrians, not only the borders of neighboring countries. All borders need to be open to Syrian refugees," Guterres said at a press conference.

"A true attitude of burden-sharing needs to be assumed by the international community," he noted.

Recalling that Syria was the second largest hosting country in the world with more than 2 million refugees just six years ago, Guterres lamented that it was now producing the most refugees in the world.

According to UN report, about 3 million Syrians have left the country.

"There are now over 2.3 million registered Syrian refugees in the region, including some 869,000 in Lebanon, 600,000 in Jordan, 582,000 in Turkey, 213,000 in Iraq and over 132,000 in Egypt. The actual number might be much higher. In addition, an estimated total of 6.5 million people are displaced inside Syria," the declaration read.

"We therefore appeal to all parties to the conflict to put their differences aside and come together for the Geneva II conference on Jan. 22, where some real steps must be taken toward finding a political solution and putting an end to the fighting," the participants of the meeting said.

During the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pledged that his country would keep supplying aid to all the Syrian refugees. "I am addressing the Syrian people; whatever they do, whoever remains silent, we won't remain silent to your pain. We'll continue to stay by you with our best. Our countries, cities, districts are open for you all the way."

For his part, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Iraq has directly suffered from the spillover of the Syrian crisis, adding that "We call on the Syrian government and Syrian opposition to take this opportunity without preconditions. Otherwise there will be no Geneva II."

The Iraqi official denounced extremism and sectarianism as " poisonous development" aggravating the refugee crisis.

"Some of the extremist groups have the upper hand. This is not to the benefit of Syria or for others," he said, adding that the al-Qaida-linked groups such as al-Nusra or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant should not be in Syria.

The next Ministerial Meeting of Syria Bordering Countries will be held in Jordan and then in Iraq, according to the declaration.


Lebanon president calls on army to protect citizens along Syria border

BEIRUT, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called Friday on the army to protect Lebanese inhabitants near the border with Syria and Lebanon's border regions.

Suleiman warned citizens not to get involved in the incidents related to the Syrian crisis, according to a statement by his media office.

He said "security and military officials should employ all means to protect Lebanese villages and towns next to the border with Syria," adding that "these locations suffered rocket attacks today, resulting in deaths and injuries." Full story

Syria's neighbors call for humanitarian dimension at Geneva II

SANLIURFA, Turkey, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Syria's neighboring countries sheltering refugees on Friday called on the international community to consider humanitarian dimension of the Syrian crisis at Geneva II peace conference.

"Geneva II cannot be indifferent to the humanitarian dimension of the Syrian conflict and dramatic suffering of the Syrian people, " according to the second round of the Ministerial Meeting of Syria Bordering Countries' final declaration. Full story

Russia, Syria determined to hold Geneva-II as scheduled: Lavrov

MOSCOW, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Moscow and Damascus believed no one could undermine the peace conference on Syria scheduled for later this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.Full story

Iran's role in solving Syria crisis a "must": Russian FM

MOSCOW, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Iran was an integral part of the upcoming international conference on the Syria crisis.Full story

Editor: chengyang
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