Syrian gov't treats return of refugees as priority: president

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-20 05:23:12|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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DAMASCUS, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Friday that the return of the Syrian refugees to their homes is a priority of the Syrian government, state news agency SANA reported.

Assad made the remarks during his meeting with visiting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin over the political process in Syria.

Assad said the return of refugees is a main goal and priority for the Syrian government which is working to secure all needs for their return.

In recent months, several batches of hundreds of refugees have returned from Lebanon to their homes in the northern countryside of the capital Damascus.

This refugee issue is being talked about recently as Syria's border with Jordan is opened after three years of closure and the overall situation in Syria has improved.

Meanwhile, Assad and his Russian guest also discussed the process of forming the constitutional committee that will be tasked with "reviewing the current constitution."

The plan to draft a new Syrian constitution has been under discussion since January when it was announced at a conference organized by Russia, a key Syrian ally, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

But the process has since been hampered by disagreements over the formation of the committee to draft the charter.

On Wednesday, the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura said the Syrian government's and the opposition's lists for the committee, each comprising 50 names, "are not in question."

He said objection remains, mainly from the government, over a third list that the UN is tasked with to include civil society representatives, religious and tribal leaders, experts and women in the committee.

The UN envoy, who said he will resign at the end of November, expressed his hope to "be in a position" to convene the constitutional committee in November.