More than 100,000 Syrian refugees in Egypt

Ahram Online , Wednesday 30 Jan 2013

Egyptian assistant foreign minister says there are at least 100,000 Syrian refugees living in Egypt

Syrian refugees look at remains of a burnt tent at Zaatari Syrian refugees camp, in Mafraq, near the Syrian border, Jordan, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 (Photo: AP)

There are between 100,000 and 120,000 Syrian refugees living in Egypt, Nasser Kamel, Egypt's assistant foreign minister for Arab affairs, has said.

During a speech at an aid donor conference in Kuwait on Wednesday, Kamel also said Cairo was examining the building of a field hospital on the Turkish-Syria border to treat refugees escaping the 22-month Syrian civil war.

"We call on the UN humanitarian agencies and international community to continue backing the Syrian people until the end of the political crisis," MENA quoted Kamel as saying.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in December that a community centre for Syrians living on the outskirts of Cairo had been officially launched in collaboration with a number of Egyptian non-governmental organisations.

The centre aims to become a gathering venue for Syrian refugees in Egypt to "exchange information and organise social activities and workshops."

It will also provide psychosocial support to children and adults.

"Many young children witnessed violent scenes before leaving Syria and girls heard stories about sexual violence as well," said Elizabeth Tan, deputy regional representative of UNHCR in Cairo.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said President Bashar Al-Assad's regime in Syria "had lost all legitimacy" during his speech at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) last August.

Morsi's pro-rebel comments led to a severe deterioration in Egyptian-Syrian relations.

In September, Syria accused Cairo of "signing the death warrant" of an Egyptian proposal for a regional contact group on Syria that would include Damascus' key ally Iran, as well as pro-rebel Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Earlier this month, Morsi vowed to support Syrian refugees in every possible way until they are able to return home "with dignity" and stressed that among his priorities was that the embattled country remains unified.

"Our priorities in Syria are to stand against any military intervention that would add to the woes of the Syrian population, who are moving with full throttle and determination to get freedom," Morsi stated on his official Twitter account.


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