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KSA Riyadh to provide relief for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan

Arabian Legend

Mar 7, 2012
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
BEIRUT: Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Osseiri said the Saudi Red Crescent would cooperate with Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan in their relief efforts to aid thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled violence in their home country, a pan-Arab newspaper reported Thursday.

“The kingdom will begin a relief operation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan in cooperation with the local authorities,” Osseiri told Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

He added that Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul -Aziz has directed the Saudi Red Crescent to fill in gaps in the relief efforts in coordination with Lebanese, Turkish and Jordanian authorities.

Jordanian officials have estimated that there are 80,000 Syrian refugees who have legally entered the country from Syria across Jordan's northern border. Ankara says 10,000 Syrians have trickled into Turkey.

In Lebanon, the U.N. High Commission for Refugees and the Higher Relief Council in the north estimates some 7,000 Syrian refugees, registered with the agency, have crossed into Lebanon since the uprising in neighboring Syria began in mid-March of 2011.

According to the latest weekly report from the U.N. body, there are an additional several thousand unregistered Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon.

In his interview with Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, Osseiri said he met with Prime Minister Najib Mikati Tuesday where he expressed the king's desire to help refugees in Lebanon.

He added that coordination would begin between the Saudi Red Crescent and Lebanon’s High Relief Committee to send aid, including medicines, food, clothes and covers to refugees.

He also expressed Saudi Arabia's sympathy with Syrians suffering as a result of developments in Syria and those who were forced to leave their country and take refuge in neighboring countries.

Saud Arabia, which closed its embassy in Damascus Wednesday, has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's staunchest critics and urged the international community to study ways to aid and support rebel forces fighting against Assad's army.

The Daily Star

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