Creating new perspectives since 2009

Syria: foreign ministers agree on voluntary, safe return of refugees

May 11, 2023 at 9:19 am

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Syrian regime’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian attend the quadripartite foreign ministerial meeting between the foreign ministers of Turkiye, Russia, Iran, and Syria in Moscow, Russia on May 10, 2023 [Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency]

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia, Iran and Syria have agreed to facilitate and guarantee the “voluntary, safe, and dignified” return of Syrian refugees to their country. The announcement came after a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, Anadolu has reported.

The ministers exchanged views on efforts to normalise relations between Turkey and Syria, and discussed counterterrorism, the political processes and humanitarian matters, including the return of Syrian refugees, explained the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Syria have also agreed to set up a roadmap to improve their strained relations, said the Russian foreign ministry. They will assign deputy foreign ministers to prepare the plan for developing bilateral relations in coordination with the ministries of defence and intelligence of the four countries.

“The ministers noted the positive and constructive atmosphere of the exchange of views and agreed to continue high-level contacts and technical talks in the quadripartite format in the coming period,” said Moscow.

In a closing statement, the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the official statements issued within the Astana process.

They also called for more international aid for Syria, not only to help the country’s struggling population, but also “in the interests of the voluntary, safe and dignified” return of refugees and post-war reconstruction.

READ: Turkiye Foreign Minister soon to head to Moscow for Syria talks