Tajik diplomat, Syrian minister discuss the issue of repatriation of Tajik nationals from Syria
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The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Tajikistan to Kuwait Zubaydullo Zubaydullozoda today met in Damascus with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic Faisal Mekdad.
The Tajik MFA information department says the parties discussed issues related to expanding and strengthening bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Syria in various fields and cooperation between the two countries within the framework of regional and international organizations.
Zubaydullozoda and Mekdad reportedly also discussed the issue of bringing Tajik nationals back to Tajikistan from Syria.
It is to be noted that the Tajik government has said it is determined to bring back home all Tajik women and children who are being held at prisons and refugee camps in Syria and Iraq.
As part of a large program, Tajikistan on April 30, 2019, repatriated 84 children from Iraq, where their Tajik mothers were jailed for being members of the extremist group.
But that effort was suspended in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic led to border closures and halted international travel.
The effort has been resumed this year. 146 Tajik nationals, including 42 women and 104 children, were brought back to Tajikistan from Syria by charter flight on July 26 this year following the meeting of Ambassador Zubaydullozoda with the Vice President of the Syrian Arab Republic for Security Affairs, Head of the National Security Bureau of Syria, General Ali Mamlouk that took place in Damascus on July 21.
Recall, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin told reporters in Dushanbe on July 27, 2020 that some 500 Tajik nationals are currently living in camps in Syrian territories controlled by Kurds.
“There are 286 women and children among them who want to return home. “We are closely cooperating with the Syrian authorities in this direction,” Muhriddin said.
According to him, they are also closely cooperating with UNICEF and International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) in this direction.