Ministerial Contact Group on Syria Concludes Meeting with Final Statement

A closing statement of the meeting of the Ministerial Contact Group on Syria was released today, as follows: At the invitation of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Ayman Al-Safadi, and as a continuation of the meeting hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council states, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Iraq and the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the follow-up given to contacts established by some of these countries with the Syrian Arab Republic, and in accordance with the Jordanian initiative based on launching an Arab leadership role in efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis according to the Step by Step methodology, the Saudi initiative and other Arab proposals The Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt met today in Amman with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic.

This meeting marks the beginning of meetings that will continue to hold talks aimed at reaching a solution to the Syrian crisis, consistent with Security Council resolution 2254, and addressing all consequences of the humanitarian, political and security crisis.

The foreign ministers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt affirmed the priority of ending the crisis and all the killing, destruction and destruction it has caused, the suffering of the Syrian people and the negative repercussions regionally and internationally, through a political solution which preserves Syria’s unity, cohesion and sovereignty, satisfies the aspirations of its people, frees them from terrorism and helps to strengthen their conditions. The opportunity for the voluntary and safe return of refugees, leading to exit of all illegal foreign forces from it, in a way that achieves national reconciliation and restores Syria’s security, stability, well-being and role.

The meeting discussed the humanitarian aspect and measures needed to achieve progress in efforts to address it, in a way that will directly affect the Syrian people, as well as a number of political and security issues.

The ministers and the Syrian foreign minister agreed on the agenda for the talks, which will continue according to an agreed timetable and in so as to integrate all international and other related efforts:

1- The humanitarian situation

2- The security situation

3- The political situation

The ministers also agreed on the following:

The provision of humanitarian and medical aid to help meet the living needs of all the Syrian people in need in all places in Syria is a necessity and all efforts must be combined to satisfy it, in cooperation and coordination between the Government of Syria and the relevant United Nations bodies, in line with relevant UN resolutions, including resolutions 2642 and 2672.

Ministers welcome the Syrian government’s decision to open the Bab al-Salama and al-Rai crossings to the United Nations to provide humanitarian and medical aid following the earthquake that hit Syria last February, and welcome the decision of the Syrian government to take in consider extending this decision, in light of its importance in ensuring that aid reaches those in need.

The voluntary and safe return of refugees to their country is a top priority and the necessary steps must be taken to start implementing them immediately.

– Strengthen cooperation between the Syrian government and refugee-hosting countries, and coordinate with relevant United Nations bodies, to organize the voluntary and safe returns of refugees and end their suffering, according to specific procedures and clear timelines.

– That the Syrian government, in coordination with relevant United Nations bodies, begin to identify needs needed to improve the public services provided in areas of refugee return to take in consider the possibility of providing them with Arab and international contributions, while clarifying the measures it intends to take to facilitate their return, also in the context of their inclusion in the general amnesty decrees.

– Intensify work with the international community and the United Nations to push for accelerated implementation of early recovery projects, including in areas in which refugees are expected to return, leading to improved infrastructure needed to provide a decent life for refugees who choose to voluntarily return to Syria, including the construction of schools and hospitals, public facilities and job creation, and contribute to the stabilization .

– Take similar measures, where appropriate, to resolve the issue of internally displaced persons, including the issue of Rukban camp.

– Cooperation between the Government of Syria and the Government of Jordan, in coordination with the relevant United Nations bodies, in organizing a voluntary repatriation process of about a thousand Syrian refugees in Jordan, for the Syrian government to ensure that the necessary conditions and requirements are provided for their return, e in so that the United Nations bodies provide for their living necessities, according to its approved working mechanisms. And in the context of the forward recovery process foreseen by the relevant United Nations resolutions, and which this includes, in a later stage, other countries hosting Syrian refugees.

– Strengthen cooperation to promote efforts for the exchange of abductees and detainees and the search for missing persons according to a studied approach with all interested parties and international organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, in coordination with the Syrian government.

– Cooperation between the Syrian government, relevant countries and the United Nations in formulating a global strategy to strengthen security and fight terrorism in all its forms and organisations, and to end the presence of terrorist organizations in the Syrian territories and neutralize their ability to threaten regional and international security.

Working to support Syria and its institutions in any legitimate attempt to extend its control over its lands, enforce the rule of law, end the presence of armed and terrorist groups on Syrian lands and stop foreign interference in Syrian internal affairs, in compliance with the provisions of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

– Strengthen cooperation between Syria and neighboring countries and countries affected by drug trafficking and smuggling across the Syrian border with neighboring countries, in line with Syria’s Arab, national and international commitments in this regard. In this context, Syria will cooperate with Jordan and Iraq to form within one month two joint political/security working groups to identify the sources of drug production and smuggling in Syria and the parties that organize, manage and implement smuggling operations across the borders with Jordan and Iraq and take the necessary measures to end the smuggling operations and put an end to this growing danger to the entire region.

Agree on effective measures to address security challenges related to border security by establishing effective coordination mechanisms between the Syrian military and security services and their counterparts in neighboring countries.

– Work to resume the work of the Constitutional Committee as soon as possible, in the context of political measures aimed at achieving comprehensive national reconciliation.

– That the countries participating in the meeting work with the fraternal countries and the international community to respond to the positive steps of the Syrian government with positive steps, to build on what has been achieved and to gradually reach a political solution that puts an end to the suffering of the fraternal Syrian people and the catastrophic consequences of the Syrian crisis, achieve national reconciliation and put Syria on the path of reconstruction Towards a secure future that fulfills the aspirations of the Syrian people and their rights to live in security and dignity in their homeland, and restore Syria’s historic role in the region.

The ministers agreed to form an expert-level technical group to follow up the outcome of this meeting and determine the next steps in the context of this focused path, addressing the resolution of the Syrian crisis and addressing all its repercussions.

The ministers will communicate with Arab countries, friendly countries and the United Nations to brief them on the outcome of the meeting, which was agreed during the consultative meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council countries Jordan, Iraq and Egypt in Saudi Arabia on April 14, 2023.

The Ministers thanked the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for the warm welcome and hospitality, and the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt expressed their appreciation for the positive involvement shown by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic, in discussing the initiatives and steps presented during the meeting. They called on the Syrian Arab Republic to continue the steps and procedures to address all repercussions of the Syrian crisis, leading to a political solution that would end it and end the suffering of Syria and its honorable people.

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