(MENAFN- Jordan News Agency) Amman, June 30 (Petra) -- Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Wissam Rabadi on Tuesday partook in a conference in Brussels, Belgium, on supporting Syria and the region.
Entitled "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region," the EU IV Conference, held in cooperation with the UN, saw the participation of more than 54 foreign ministers and many representatives from international organizations.
In his address, Safadi emphasized that it is important for the international community to share the burden of hosting refugees with host countries, saying that the voluntary return of refugees to their countries constitutes the only solution to their plight, which calls for exerting more effort to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
"The only solution to the Syrian refugees crisis is for them to voluntary and safely return to their country," Safadi said, adding "cooperation to meet their needs until then must continue as the burden of hosting refugees should not be the responsibility of the host countries alone."
He said that the needed solution to the crisis should be accepted by the Syrians as it has to maintain Syria's territorial integrity. The solution must also restore the country's stability and security as well as its leading regional role.
"We cannot continue to double down on policies that have not delivered the peace that we all seek. We have to make sure that Syrian people and Syrian security come first," he continued.
Safadi said "Syria must live in peace, and the great Syrian people have the right to enjoy normal and safe lives. The absurdity of the continuation of the crisis has been proven at a great cost to Syria, to its neighbors, and to the world at large."
He pointed out that Jordan will continue working with all its partners to reach a solution to the crisis, adding that until that time, the Kingdom will continue providing all care possible to the refugees. He said "this is a huge challenge. But with your support, we will meet it."
"My country, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is host to over 1.3 million Syrians. Jordanians have embraced them as brothers," he added.
The Kingdom has opened its schools, though already stressed, to over 133,000 Syrian students. Some of the schools are operating at double shifts, he said, adding that over 190,000 work permits have been issued for Syrian refugees, while the unemployment rate was soaring above 19 per cent even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Safadi pointed out that "since the beginning of the pandemic, and in cooperation with the United Nations, the EU and other partners, we have provided our Syrian brethren, of whom only 10 percent live in refugee camps, the same level of protection we give our citizens. Not a single case of Corona was detected in the camps."
He emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic fallout necessitates international support to help Jordan to continue meeting the needs of the refugees, pointing out that only 50 percent of Jordan's response plan was funded.
"This year the Kingdom rolled out a three-year 6.6 billion dollar Response Plan. I trust we can count on your support. Maintaining our resilience is maintaining our ability to help refugees," he said.
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