SUKHUM -- President Aleksandr Ankvab chaired a meeting today devoted to the issue of the repatriation of compatriots currently living in the Syrian Arab Republic. Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Irakli Khintba, and the head of the State Committee for Repatriation, Zurab Adleiba, and his deputy Ahmad Marshan participated in the meeting.
Zurab Adleiba briefed the President on the visit to Syria. He said about 90 people are ready to return to their historic homeland in the course of the year. Today about 30 people, including some small children, are ready to travel to Abkhazia.
The Committee Chairman noted that they will provide material aid to those who are not in a position to pay their travel costs.
Ankvab expressed an interest in what kind of living conditions will be provided for the repatriants and what has already been done.
Zurab Adleiba said that the returnees will live in a hotel for four months, after which they will be offered housing in Gulrypsh Raion. Arrangements have been made to provide Abkhaz and Russian language lessons so the children will be able to attend school and the adults to find work.
Deputy Foreign Minister Irakli Khintba informed the President that they are coordinating activities with the Russian consulate in Syria. The consulate provides the necessary assistance to ethnic Abkhazians living in that country in solving problems that may arise.
Aleksandr Ankvab commented that the Abkhazians living in Syria should be informed what kind of living conditions await them in Abkhazia.
The President instructed the State Committee for Repatriation to begin immediately working on solving the logistical problems connected with the return of compatriots from Syria to the homeland.
Reported by the Information Department of the President of the RA.