UN says any return of Syrian refugees from countries across the region must be conducted on a strictly voluntary basis

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United Nations has said any return of Syrian refugees from countries across the region must be conducted on a strictly voluntary basis.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the return of people to their home should always be voluntary and done in dignity and in safety.

UN’s comments came after Russia unveiled plans to cooperate with the United States on the issue. Russia’s Defense Ministry last week said that working together on the safe return of Syrian refugees was one of the points of agreement reached between Russian President, Vladimir Putin and US President, Donald Trump at their inaugural summit in Helsinki.

Confirming that the issue had featured in the summit, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said any return to be carried out at the right time through a voluntary mechanism.

Washington and Moscow back opposing sides in the Syrian war, with Russia’s intervention in 2015 on the side of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime widely seen as a turning point in the multi-front conflict.

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