SUKHUM -- Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaja held a meeting on Monday 1 April with the leadership of the Foreign Ministry, the State Committee for Repatriation, the Repatriation Fund and the representative of the Republic of Abkhazia in the Syrian Arab Republic, Sharaf Abaza (Marshan).
The discussion was about offering help to Abkhazians living in Syria for their return to their historical homeland.
Since the beginning of the military conflict in Syria has already taken in more than 180 repatriants. In coming days nine other persons will be arriving. The republic's leadership has ordered that they be provided with housing and job-opportunities. Those who are temporarily unemployed receive financial aid from the state. The children of the repatriants go to kindergartens and are studying in secondary schools, boarding-school and the preparatory section of the University.
Leonid Lakerbaja said that the Abkhazian leadership will continue to encourage the repatriation of compatriots and their social adaptation.
The Prime Minister instructed the Foreign Ministry and the State Committee for Repatriation to continue work on the precision of the lists of those wishing to return to Abkhazia, as well as to hold a meeting with the initiative-group "Help for the Return from Syria of Abkhazians to Abkhazia" and with other members of the public concerning the problems of repatriation and adaptation of compatriots from Syria.
The representative of the Republic of Abkhazia in Syria, Sharaf Abaza (Marshan), informed the head of the government that over 200 persons want to return to Abkhazia.
Sharaf Abaza said that the current political and military situation in Syria is very complicated. People cannot even leave the house. However, he also said that some come here thinking to find paradise here. "I want to tell you that from Abkhazia too information is reaching there that greater good awaits them here. I met with the Diaspora and tried to convey to them that in Abkhazia, as in any country, there exist its own problems and difficulties. Moreover, the country has still not fully recovered from the war," said Sharaf Abaza. He believes that the State Committee for Repatriation made a mistake in settling repatriants returning to Abkhazia in one place. He considers it more expedient to resettle them in different districts and villages.
Concluding the meeting, the Prime Minister, Leonid Lakerbaja, instructed the relevant structures to pay serious attention to the work for the return of compatriots from the Syrian Arab Republic and their adaptation.
Report from the press-service of the Government of Abkhazia.