Nalbandian called OSCE to continue efforts in supporting refugees and migrants

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia

Nalbandian called OSCE to continue efforts in supporting refugees and migrants

Yerevan October 24

Marianna Mkrtchyan. Armenian MFA Edward Nalbandian, who is in a
working visit in Palermo, took part in ministerial meeting of OSCE.

According to Armenian MFA press service, the event was arranged by
Italy, which will involve OSCE chairmanship in 2018.

In his speech, Nalbandian stated that security in OSCE region and the
Mediterranean region are interrelated, and recent processes have once
again proved this reality. "The large flow of migrants and refugees
from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, especially from Syria and
Iraq, highlights the need for close regional cooperation aimed at
addressing such security problems as combating terrorism, preventing
trafficking, proper treatment of refugees and others," said the
Armenian minister.

Referring to Armenia's experience in providing refuge to refugees,
Nalbandian noted that Armenia has accepted more than 22,000 refugees
from Syria. According to him, the adoption of such a large number of
refugees put Armenia, which in the recent past has already taken
hundreds of thousands of refugees from Azerbaijan, to a number of
problems. "Many of the Syrian refugees are descendants of those who
found shelter in Syria after the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman
Empire 100 years later they are forced to leave their homes." The
Armenian people know firsthand what it means to be a refugee and
accept them. assistance to refugees and their integration into society
Refugees are provided with wide assistance on such issues as the
accelerated process of granting the right to receive a residence,
simplified the process of obtaining citizenship, medical assistance,
scholarships, simplified admission to higher education institutions,
flexible taxation mechanism and an attractive business environment,
entry to the labor market, "the Armenian Foreign Minister said.

At the same time, Nalbandian informed that Armenia also helped the
ones in need in Syria, permanently sending humanitarian help there.
According to him, Armenian Consulate General in Aleppo is the only
foreign diplomatic mission that has continued its activities in such
difficult conditions.

Nalbandian also believes that for a comprehensive response to the flow
of refugees and migrants, it is necessary to combat the primary
sources of this phenomenon, such as terrorism and crimes carried out
on a national basis. "Armenia is one of the first countries in the
OSCE, who voiced this problem and came up with an initiative that
strengthens commitments on this issue in the Organization." Among the
OSCE commitments on terrorism enshrined in the Hamburg Declaration are
such provisions as condemnation of the persecution of individuals and
communities, including on religious grounds, prosecution of those
involved in terrorist activities, prevention of cross-border financing
related to terrorist activities, movements of foreign mercenaries and
weapons. We are convinced that the OSCE efforts in this direction
should be continued, "the Armenian Foreign Minister said.

Nalbandian once again confirmed adherence of Armenia to the issue of
support and protection of the representatives of national and
religious minorities. In this context, he informed that On November 22
in Yerevan will pass OSCE "Preventing and combating hate crimes
against Christians and other religious groups" conference and invited
colleagues from the Mediterranean to contribute to this event.

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