"Neighboring countries host well over 4 million Syrian refugees. This is a very heavy burden, in particular for small countries such as Lebanon, where one in four people is a refugee, and Jordan. We are concerned about the situation of Syrian asylum-seekers at the border between Syria and Jordan. It is important to remind states of their obligation to respect the principle of non-refoulement," Maurer said.
He underlined that refugees were often forced to live in overcrowded camps and faced difficulties securing their basic needs, with their presence putting an ever growing strain on local resources.
Therefore, "the international community at large bears a responsibility towards Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers, who must be treated with humanity and given legal avenues to flee to safety," Maurer stressed.
According to UN data, over 650,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Jordan, with more than 140,000 comprising an in-camp population.
Jordan has been granted the right to be an observer of the talks in Astana on Syria settlement.