Al-Jaafari: Terrorism and Israeli occupation among main causes for immigration in Middle East

New York, SANA – Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said that the main causes for immigration are terrorism, the Israeli occupation of Arab territories, the military invasion of Iraq, and aggression against the region’s countries like what happened in Libya, foreign interference in states’ internal affairs, and unilateral economic “sanctions,” and depriving people of their countries’ resources.

In a speech at a session held on Friday at the United Nations to discuss the issue of illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean area, particularly Syrian immigrants, al-Jaafari said that immigration needs to be addressed as the global phenomenon it is, and that limiting the discussion to a single geographic areas, or focusing on Syrian refugees alone, implies that there are political motivations behind proposing the issue rather than humanitarian motives.

He said that this phenomenon requires a comprehensive and objective approach, not slandering one state or another, and that the suffering of all refugees from Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Turkey, and other areas in Asia and Africa must be discussed.

Al-Jaafari noted that Syrians constitute only 20% of the wave of refugees currently moving to Europe via Turkey, as the rest come from African and Asian countries and some acquired fake Syrian passports in Turkey, something proved by Dutch journalist Harald Doornbos who managed to buy such a passport featuring a photo of Dutch President Mark Rutte in Turkey.

He said that Syria regrets the superficial way some sides are using to approach the issue of Syrians seeking refuge in Europe and who are ignoring the true reasons of this phenomenon, reasons behind which stand a number of Arab, regional, and foreign states that spared no method to abuse the Syrian people, including using terrorism to topple the Syrian state and exploiting human rights issues, leading to the political exploitation of Syrian refugees’ suffering.

Addressing a certain article that focused on Syrian refugees, al-Jaafari said the fact that this article was put forth by the Turkish delegation raises suspicion over the motives behind it, particularly since the Turkish regime has been the main cause of Syrians’ suffering and displacement due to its backing and harboring of global terrorism and its facilitation of the infiltration of foreign terrorists into Syria in clear violation of the UN charter.

Pressing on with this point, Syria’s Permanent Representative posed a number of queries regarding how Turkey is handling the refugee issue: first, why did the unprecedented waves of refugees take place at this specific time and via Turkey in particular, and why does Turkey want to direct discussion towards Syrian refugees alone?

He also pointed out to the Turkish government’s shameless practices of dismantling and stealing Syrian factories and its facilitation of ISIS’ trade in Syrian oil and archeological artifacts through its territories, asking why the Turkish government would allow the Arab Gulf states to transport tens of thousands of Toyota brand cars to ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and why it overlooks the Turkish mafia’s role in forging Syrian passports and smuggling refugees using crude methods that have claimed the lives of thousands of refugees so far.

“Why manipulate the counting and circulation of Syrian refugee numbers and why insist to ignore international reports – including European ones – that state that Syrian refugees make up only 20% of the total of refugees heading to Europe? Why were thousands of Syrian passports stolen and shipped from Idleb in Syria to Turkey two years ago? Why does to so-called “coalition embassy” in Doha provide fake Syrian passports? How could some member states allow the people who carry such passports move around inside their borders?” al-Jaafari wondered.

Syria’s Permanent Representative said that everyone in Syria feels sorrow and pain over their fellow Syrians who were forced to flee their homes in fear of terrorism, noting that the Syrian government issued instructions to all its diplomatic missions abroad to grant and renew passports of all Syrians wherever they are without exceptions, even to members of the so-called “opposition,” and asserting that the Syrian government’s strategic goal for the next stage is returning displaced people to the area which the Syrian Arab Army has secured, and providing services for them.

Al-Jaafari said that the scene becomes more bleak when looking at Security Council reports show that tens of thousands of terrorists from 60% of the UN member states are being sent to join terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq, with one recent report stating that their number exceeds 30,000, all while tens of thousands of Syrians flee their homes in fear of those foreign mercenaries, something which necessitates implementing the Security Council’s counter-terrorism resolutions and lifting the sanctions imposed on the Syrian people.

He also called for supporting the efforts to reach a peaceful political solution for the crisis in Syria on the basis of inter-Syrian dialogue led by Syria without foreign interference.

Al-Jaafari went on to note that Turkey’s Erdogan himself ordered the arrest of 34 Turkish military personnel, 18 customs officers, and 4 judges for exposing the issue of trucks carrying weapons to Syria upon Erdogan’s orders which were labeled as carrying humanitarian aid from the Turkish government to the Syrian people.

“I leave all these facts in your care so that you can separate the wheat from the chaff and realize that what is being put forth about the phenomenon of refugees and immigration are merely false humanitarian slogans that do not rise to the level of the crisis for which all of us have to find congruous solutions,” he concluded.

Hazem Sabbagh

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