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UN Chief Visits Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres with students at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. (UN News Center)

Amman – United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres met on Tuesday with Jordan’s King Abdullah II for talks on regional developments ahead of the Arab Summit, which will kick off Wednesday in the Dead Sea.

The meeting at the Basman Palace touched on regional and international efforts to revive the Middle East peace process and the need to launch effective negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, based on the two-state solution and the relevant international resolutions.

The two officials also stressed the need to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria, while preserving the unity of the Arab country and its people.

The King and the UN chief also reviewed the repercussions of the Syrian crisis on Jordan, and the necessity that the international community assumes its responsibility toward states hosting refugees, starting with Jordan.

In this regard, Guterres pointed to the enormous burden Amman carries by hosting a large number of Syrian refugees, calling on the international community to deliver its aid pledges.

Also on Tuesday, the UN chief visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, which is accommodating around 80,000 Syrian refugees.

In a press conference at the camp, Guterres urged the warring parties in Syria and the countries that have influence over them to understand that the crisis was not only a tragedy for Syrian people, but also a threat to regional stability and global security.

“This is the moment for all countries that are involved, directly or indirectly in the conflict, to put aside their differences and understand […] the common interest from the fact that they are all threatened by the new risk of global terrorism,” Guterres said.

“Solidarity with Syrian refugees is also a way to be able to express our capacity to guarantee global security. It’s not only an act of generosity. It’s also an act of enlightened self-interest,” he added.