Czech mission to Syria seeks to establish safe zones for refugees return

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – A fact-finding mission led by the Czech Republic is being prepared to establish safe zones in Syria as refugees in Europe and the Middle East face increasing pressure to return to their countries, The National revealed on Monday.

Officials in Prague exclusively told The National, the mission would be the first initiative of its kind for the country.

The Czech Interior Ministry stated to The National that Prague is actively participating in carrying out the European Union Council’s decisions that focus on ensuring the “safe, voluntary and dignified returns of Syrians, as defined by UNHCR.”

The statement pointed out the fact-finding mission, which is currently in a preliminary stage of preparation, is intended to help evaluate the situation in Syria and its neighboring countries.

It is possible that the mission would include Cyprus, which has frequently called for the designation of areas in Syria as safe for refugees to return.

Recently, Cyprus has seen a significant increase in the number of refugees arriving from Syria.

The National reported that Cyprus, which has not previously taken part in fact-finding missions to Syria, has expressed interest about joining the mission.

The planned mission could potentially make existing differences within the European Union more pronounced on how to address the situation in Syria, as concerns about refugees become a prominent focus in European politics once again.

By Ster Youssef