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First Euro-Arab Border Security Conference kicks off

Over 100 high-ranking representatives from 44 countries participate in two-day conference to develop an international border security dialogue

By JT - Dec 02,2021 - Last updated at Dec 02,2021

Interior Minister Mazen Faraiah speaks at the security conference launching ceremony in Amman on Wednesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Deputising for Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh, Interior Minister Mazen Faraiah on Wednesday attended the launching ceremony of the First Euro-Arab Border Security Conference.

The conference was organised by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and the General Secretariat of the Arab Interior Ministers Council (AIMC) in cooperation and coordination with the Public Security Directorate (PSD).

The conference was held in the presence of the European Union Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri, and the Secretary General of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers Muhammad Bin Ali Koman, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.  

The conference aims to develop an international dialogue on border security and prevent migrant smuggling, human trafficking, cross-border crime and terrorism.

More than 100 high-ranking representatives of border authorities in 44 countries from the European Union and the Arab world are participating in the two-day conference, in addition to international bodies relevant to the region, including: the European Commission (EU), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Organisation for Migration and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development.

In his speech, Faraiah referred to the importance of the conference, which is the first event to bring together Arab countries, which are members of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, and the European Union countries.

The minister added that the conference comes at a time when Jordan still bears the responsibility of hosting more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees. 

For more than a decade, despite the security, social, and economic burdens that have strained the state budget and the country’s limited resources, Jordan has continued to provide services to refugees. 

The Kingdom has additionally given Syrian refugees the COVID vaccination with the same priority given to Jordanian citizens, he noted. 

Faraiah stressed the need for the international community to help Jordan shoulder its responsibilities towards refugees, and not to leave Jordan alone in carrying out this duty. The world's countries’ responses to the requirements of the Syrian refugee crisis did not exceed 10 per cent, he added.

He pointed out that dealing with Syrian refugee issue should be on three parallel axes. 

The first is to provide support to Syrian refugees in their areas of refuge, where the international community should assume its responsibilities towards the reality of refugee crisis.

The second is to promote the idea of ​​resettling part of the refugees in other countries based on shared responsibility. 

The third is to engage in an international movement that restores the security, political and economic stability in Syria, which will ensure the safe return of these refugees, the minister added.

Meanwhile, Koman expressed appreciation and gratitude for Jordan’s role in supporting just causes and consolidating international peace and security. 

Várhelyi said that the partnership between Frontex and AIMC in organising this event is highly promising and important due to what the Arab world is witnessing of important population movements. 

Varhelyi noted that the conference is discussing several important challenges, such as illegal migration and criminal organisations that support the smuggling of migrants and human trafficking.

Leggeri stressed that Amman is among the best places to convene this event, due to the effective partnership between European border security agencies and their Arab peers.

He noted that the shared goal is to develop a constructive dialogue with partners in the fields of combating crime and enhancing border security.  

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