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Jordan to stop new waves of Syrian refugees: PM

Jordanian armed forces might create a buffer zone along the Syrian borders to stop new groups of refugees, PM says

Ahram Online , Thursday 17 Jan 2013
Syrian refugees wait to perform Eid al-Adha prayers at Al Zaatri refugee camp during the first day of Eid al-Adha in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, October 26, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
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Jordan will not allow the entrance of further thousands of Syrian refugees into its territory in case of further political deterioration in Damascus, Amman's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour told MENA on Thursday.

"We prefer that Syrians would stay in their homeland; this is much better to their countries and we will not encourage them to do the opposite", Ensour told Arab and foreign reporters during a press conference in Amman.

He added that the armed forces will block any future crossings of Syrian refugees through creating a "buffer zone" along the Syrian-Jordanian borders. In November, riot police had dispersed a protest by Syrian refugees against living conditions in Zaatari camp in northern Jordan.

The camp, close to the Syrian border, saw several demonstrations since its opening in July. Jordan on Monday announced the establishment of an office, connected to the interior ministry, to deal with the refugees' crisis and to ease the pressure on the camp hosting thousands of Syrians crossing each day to escape the 22-month civil war in Syria.

On the same day, the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper reported the crossing of 822 Syrians overnight to join the 188,000 Syrians sheltered by the Kingdom. 

According to UN statistics, nearly 200,000 Syrian refugees are registered in Lebanon, more than 153,000 in Turkey, 69,000 in Iraq and over 5,000 in North Africa. 

The UN has said it expects the number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries will rise to 1.1 million by next June if the war continues.








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