UNHCR: Syria promises not to expel Iraqi refugees by force

October 5, 2007 14:42


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Syria has vowed not to expel any of the 1.5 million Iraqis who have fled there, despite new rules aimed at stemming the flow of people across the border, the head of the UN refugee agency said Friday. "The guarantee that we received was that Iraqis would not be sent back against their will," said Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "We have no reason to doubt this guarantee." A spokesman for UNHCR told reporters in Geneva that Iraqis in Syria are worried about how to renew their three-month visas now that Damascus is only issuing permits to Iraqis traveling for professional reasons.

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