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MOSCOW, February 17 (Itar-Tass) —— The Federation Council will send a delegation to Syria for evaluating security of North Caucasian natives who reside there, the house press service told Itar-Tass on Friday.
It said the decision was made a working meeting of Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko with Karachayevo-Cherkessia Speaker Alexander Ivanov and Kabardino-Balkaria Speaker Anuar Chechenov. Federation Council members representing the two republics and Vice-Speaker, Dagestan’s representative Ilyas Umakhanov also attended the meeting. They centered on the appeal of the Republic of Adygeya to the Federal Assembly for assisting the return of Syrian Cherkess to their native land.
Matviyenko said that the house was holding related consultations with the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Syrian embassy in Moscow. The sides agreed to coordinated efforts of the federal and regional authorities, the press service reported.
“It is planned to use the efficient mechanisms of parliamentary and citizen diplomacy for making a profound analysis of the matter and preventing its shift from humanitarian to political dimension, which is fraught with the escalation of tensions. It was decided to send a delegation of the Federation Council to Syria. The delegation will include representatives of the regions, who had raised the question, the press service said.
Matviyenko urged regional colleagues to abstain from political declarations or statements. “We understand your care for compatriots and the position of public organizations. But any comments regarding Syria are a political sensitive ground, and you must be aware of that,” she said.
Matviyenko recommended regional leaders to meet with public organizations and elaborate common stand. “Russia is not indifferent [to compatriots in Syria]; it is pondering possible measures in the light of current developments,” she said.
Caucasian communities in the Middle East, mostly in Turkey, Jordan and Syria, have over 3 million members. Ancestors of these people left the Caucasus in a war in the 19th century and settled down in the Ottoman Empire. Cherkess, Adyghe, Kabardin, Chechen, Ingush, Dagestani, Karachai and Balkar people, frequently described with the general term Cherkess, reside in the region now. According to the preliminary estimates, there are about 100,000 Cherkess people in Syria.