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Jordan calls for ‘collective, immediate’ efforts to protect Syrians at 5th Brussels Conference

Safadi takes part in conference's opening session

By JT - Mar 31,2021 - Last updated at Mar 31,2021

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi in the opening session of the fifth Brussels Conference on 'Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region' on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Ministry)

AMMAN — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi on Tuesday participated in the opening session of the fifth Brussels Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region".

During the virtual conference, Safadi urged exerting “genuine, collective and immediate” efforts to protect Syrians and reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Death, displacement and devastation constituted the outcome of 10 years of the crisis, Safadi commented, describing the lack of a comprehensive strategy to cease destruction as a “painful reality”.

In his remarks, Safadi highlighted the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2254, a point of reference that provides the parameters for a political solution, stressing the necessity to “lessen suffering of Syrian people, end the fear, build schools, provide healthcare and restore hope”.

Safadi laid some of the criteria that a peaceful solution must meet including obtaining Syrian’s acceptance, preserving Syria’s unity, delivering an “enduring defeat of terrorism”, and creating conducive conditions for the voluntary return of refugees.

In regard to international aid, he noted that UN organisations do not receive the required material support, and the level of support continues to plummet.

Reviewing current statistics, Safadi pointed out that "Jordan hosts about 1.3 million Syrians, among which 10 per cent live in refugee camps, adding that the rest are dispersed around the Kingdom. 

Focusing on education, he noted that 200,000 refugees are of school age, among which 144,000 are currently receiving formal education in Jordan.

Despite the limited amount of COVID vaccines, Safadi said that Jordan was one of the first countries to provide refugees with the coronavirus vaccine, stressing that Syrian refugees receive the same medical services and care as Jordanians.

Safadi stressed that Jordan has done everything it can to provide a decent life for refugees, "because these are the customs of Jordanians and that it is the right thing to do despite the economic challenges posed by the pandemic".

Safadi voiced out concerns over the decreasing support for host countries and UN organisations, stressing that although the Kingdom is aware of the unprecedented challenges that the pandemic has caused to all partner countries, the Syrian crisis must not be forgotten as the situation has been aggravated during last year.

Safadi called on the participants to support the recently announced Jordan response plan to cope with the responsibilities of asylum for the year 2021. He said that more funds must be granted to accommodate for the changing needs of refugees, as emergency relief for refugees is no longer the top priority.

Safadi rejected rendering the refugee issue an “occasional concern”, it must remain a central and constant priority.

He added that the conference reflects “a clear commitment” by the EU and the UN to mark the Syrian crisis as a priority in the global agenda.

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