Thursday, September 13, 2007


Syria to drop visa demand during Ramadan

(AFP) - Syria said on Thursday it would drop visa restrictions for Iraqis fleeing the violence at home as a goodwill gesture for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. The decision is aimed at allowing Iraqi families to meet during the month, an official said, adding that visas would once again be required after Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan on about October 12,
About 30,000 Iraqis fleeing violence in their own country are arriving each month in neighbouring Syria, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which estimates the total number of refugees at more than four million. Syria had announced it would impose visa restrictions on Iraqis from September 10 in a bid to control the flood of refugees. It was also planning to permit only those Iraqis who were from the economic, commercial and scientific sectors to enter Syria.

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