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Ministers discuss refugee challenge with US official

By JT - Sep 06,2018 - Last updated at Sep 06,2018

AMMAN — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi on Thursday met US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Carol O'Connell over the refugee crisis.

Safadi briefed the US official on the huge burdens Jordan had to bear for hosting 1.3 million Syrians, urging the international community to shoulder its responsibility towards the refugees, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

During the meeting, the Foreign Minister affirmed that Jordan encourages voluntary return of Syrian refugees to their country, stressing the need for concerted efforts in order to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis that preserves the unity of Syria and is accepted by the Syrians.

For her part, O'Connell, who is visiting the Kingdom to participate in the second meeting of Top Donor Group for Syria that was held in Amman, stressed the US administration's appreciation of the humanitarian role played by the Kingdom to help the Syrian refugees despite the burdens imposed on several key sectors.

Also on Thursday, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Mary Kawar said that Jordan is committed to its policy of hosting refugees and encourages the voluntary return of the refugees to their country.

The minister’s remarks came during a separate meeting with O’Connell, according to Petra.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the great burdens caused by the Syrian refugee crisis on the Jordanian economy and the increasing pressures on service sectors, especially education, health and infrastructure.

Both sides also discussed the latest developments in the Syrian refugees’ crisis in Jordan and the economic pressures on Jordanian society, as a result of the Syrian refugees’ unwillingness to voluntarily return to their country.

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