Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi received on Thursday a Russian delegation headed by Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev in Amman.
Safadi and the delegates, who included the Russian deputy foreign minister and defense ministry officials, reviewed Russian ideas on the return of Syrian refugees and efforts exerted to strengthen stability in the southwestern region of Syria, according to a ministry statement.
Safadi stressed that Jordan would continue cooperating with Russia so as to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis, one that is accepted by all Syrians, maintain the territorial integrity of the country and guarantee the safe return and resettlement of refugees on their lands.
Earlier on Wednesday, in an interview with Al-Mamlaka reported by AFP, Safadi said that his country would not force Syrian refugees to return home, asserting the kingdom's cooperation with its partners to provide proper conditions for their voluntary return.
He said that Jordan encourages the voluntarily return of Syrians, stressing the need to provide security, political, social and economic grounds to urge the Syrians to go back on their own.
Safadi discussed last Sunday in a phone call with Lavrov the return of refugees.
Jordan wants to create a suitable environment for refugees to go back to their towns and villages so that they can live in freedom, dignity, security and stability, Safadi explained, stressing the Kingdom's keenness on respecting its legal obligations and human rights.
Jordan hosts 667,000 registered Syrian refugees, but the kingdom says the real number, including those undocumented, is almost double. Poor in natural resources and with a faltering economy, Amman says the refugees add an extra burden with the total cost of hosting them exceeding USD10 billion.
The United Nations said last Monday that the return of Syrians to their country is a topic that has been discussed between Moscow and Washington.
“It is up to people to... no one should be forced to return,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.