WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with numerous opposition factions and extremist groups fighting the Syrian army in order to topple the government of President Bashar Assad. Jordan has been one of the top recipients of refugees fleeing the conflict.
"We are very grateful to the Russian role and trying to work with the Americans, and with the neighboring countries and everyone," Fakhoury stated of the ceasefire in Syria. "Our Foreign Minister [Nasser Judeh] works very closely with [Russia’s] Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov on this."
Syrian Ceasefire Eased Refugee Crisis, Made Southern Syria Much Calmer
The Syrian ceasefire agreement, worked out with the help of Russia and the United States, has eased the refugee crisis and significantly improved the situation in the south of Syria, Fakhoury told Sputnik.
"Yes, of course," Fakhoury stated when asked whether the cessation of hostilities in Syria has helped with the issue of refugees. "That is why the southern part of Syria has been much calmer and less extremist and less violent than other parts of Syria."
The Jordanian minister added that Amman and Moscow have "a very special relationship… that works very well."
The cessation of hostilities in Syria took effect on February 27 to facilitate humanitarian access to all besieged areas in the country, among other goals.
Jordan Could Push for More Help From Europe, Allies to Address Refugee Crisis
Jordan is implementing the $1.7-billion Syrian refugee response plan, and would ask the international stakeholders to provide aid assistance to the country if the crisis in Syria worsens, Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation also stated.
"We are working very hard to implement now what was agreed in London, the Jordan Compact [response plan]," Fakhoury stated. "We will push the European and the international community to help us in additional areas if the Syrian crisis gets worse."
In February, during a donor conference in the UK capital Jordan secured $1.7 billion in grants and their equivalents to respond to the refugee crisis in 2016-2018.
Some 600,000 registered Syrian refugees are currently in Jordan, according to latest UN figures, placing the country third in terms of the number of asylum-seekers it received.
In March, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised Amman for its efforts in hosting refugees from Syria.