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Saudi Arabia Calls for High-Level Meeting to Discuss Syria’s Future | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif seen at King Abdulaziz International Airport- SPA

New York, Jeddah – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayeff left Jeddah for the U.S. to head the Kingdom’s delegation at the 71st annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

He was seen off at King Abdulaziz International Airport by Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, adviser to the King; Prince Mishaal bin Majed bin Abdulaziz, governor of Jeddah; and a number of princes, ministers and officials.

The General Assembly sessions will be attended by representatives of the 193 U.N. members where the war in Syria and the refugee crisis will be on the top of the agenda.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir will host a meeting on Monday to discuss Syria’s political future. The meeting will be attended by representatives of the permanent delegations of France, Germany, Qatar, Turkey and Britain.

During the meeting, the General Coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Riad Hijab will present the Syrian opposition’s vision for Syria’s future with the participation of Anas Abdah, head of Syrian National Coalition, and Bassam Kodmani, member of the opposition negotiation delegation in Geneva.

A source at the U.S. State Department said that Secretary of State John Kerry held several phone conversations with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. Kerry discussed means for a more stable ceasefire in Syria.

“We will strive to find new methods to resolve entrenched conflicts, diminish the atrocities of global terrorism, better manage migrant and refugee flows, and resolve the many humanitarian crises that remind us millions of people in our world are still denied even the most basic conditions for a secure life,” said the U.N. Assembly President Peter Thomson.

Thomson added: “I welcome the cessation of hostilities that has come into effect in Syria, and call on all parties to honor the terms of the agreement. I sincerely hope that this understanding may ease the humanitarian suffering, and lead to a lasting peace for the Syrian people.”

U.N. will hold its first-ever summit on refugees and migrants on Monday where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders to a high-level meeting on refugees and migrants to seek humane approaches to handling refugees.

The summit is expected to issue a political and closing statement to make the International Organization of Migration an official agency of the U.N.

The meeting is also expected to result in a concrete plan on helping the world’s 65.3 million people who have been displaced due to political crises and wars. According to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, of which over half are below the age of 18.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama will join six other countries in hosting the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, with the goal of finding new commitments to support refugees.

The U.S. administration has set goals for increasing humanitarian aid by $3 billion, doubling resettlement and lawful admission spots, and increasing access to education for one million youngsters and access to employment by one million.

After the increased number of terrorist incidents and attacks all over the world, European countries had been hesitant to receive more refugees. The issue even raised questions regarding Europe’s unity to remain strong following the Brexit and whether Turkey will join the EU which could mean more migrants to Europe.