UN to engage with Turkey over resettlement of Syrian refugees in Syria
Date: 2019-11-02 11:56
The UN refugee agency UNHCR will engage with Turkey over its plan to resettle as many as 2 million Syrian refugees back across its southern border, the world body has announced.
The announcement came after one hour of closed-door talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday (November 1) in Istanbul.
"President Erdogan presented the secretary-general with a Turkish plan for new settlement areas for the return of Syrian refugees," UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York on Friday.
"The secretary-general stressed the basic principles relating to the voluntary, safe and dignified return of refugees. He informed the president that UNHCR will immediately form a team to study the proposal and engage in discussions with Turkish authorities, in line with its mandate."
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria. Ankara says it seeks to secure its borders, return Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Turkey has prepared a detailed plan for the resettlement of Syrian refugees that want to return to their home country after a safe zone in northern Syria is established where people will be able to live in a stable and peaceful environment.
The details of the plan emerged in September with the eventual goal being to resettle about 1 million Syrians within the area in the east of the Euphrates.
According to the plan 140 villages and 10 district centers will be established within the 30-40-kilometer-deep safe zone in northern Syria, housing 5,000 and 30,000 inhabitants each, respectively. The settlements will be provided with various facilities so that the people living there will be able to have a normal life with every necessity met.
Guterres attended the Istanbul Mediation Conference on Thursday, which brought together policymakers, diplomats and others to the city to discuss mediation techniques and how to use new technologies to end wars.
Based on DS