Syria says Iraq abandons refugees

Syrian official accused Iraq on Monday of failing to provide financial aid to Iraqi refugees living in Syria since the US-led invasion of their country.

Syria says Iraq abandons refugees

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad accused Iraq on Monday of failing to provide financial aid to Iraqi refugees living in Syria since the US-led invasion of their country.

"We find it strange that the Iraqi government is not doing its duty and is exercising every method to shy away from taking responsibility toward its nationals," al-Mekdad said.

"I am ashamed to discuss Iraqi support (for the refugees). We told the Iraqi government that these nationals are Iraqi and they are suffering real, not imaginary hardship," Mekdad said after attending an international conference in the Syrian capital on the refugees.

Mekdad called for the creation of "better conditions" to allow the refugees to return home, saying this would be "the best solution" for the displaced.

"The refugees were displaced temporarily and this was the result of the American occupation of Iraq," he added.

Mekdad also urged the international community to step up efforts to help the refugees.

Millions of Iraqis have fled their country since the US-led invasion, most of them seeking refuge in neighbouring Syria and Jordan.

The United Nations says around 1.5 million sought refuge in Syria and around half a million in Jordan.


Agencies

Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2010, 15:52
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