RAMALLAH (West Bank), February 4 (Itar-Tass) – Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas plans to dispatch a delegation to Damascus to discuss the situation facing Palestinian refugees in Syria.
In an interview with Itar-Tass, Abbas said the Palestinian National Authority strictly abides by the policy of non-interference in affairs of other states and respect for the will of their peoples. “A total of 600,000 Palestinians live in Syria, and when the Syrian developments began, Palestinians were far from interfering in these domestic affairs of Syrians,” Abbas said. “When unrest and problems began in Yarmouk camp near Damascus, a host of Palestinian refugees living there had to flee. This is a very big number of people, including in Lebanon, and I don’t want to involve them in the internal fight underway in these states”.
“I want to reveal a small secret to you,” the Palestinian leader said. “Within the next few days I intend to send a delegation to Syria, which will discuss the situation of Palestinians living there under the following slogan – we don’t want to interfere in your domestic affairs, but we want to protect our people, the people who live in camps, this way or another,” he stressed.
In reply to the query who exactly the PNA wants to discuss these issues with, Abbas said the contacts must be maintained with the present Syrian authorities. “The government that Syria has at the moment is the government of Bashar al-Assad, and that is why we will be discussing that issue with Assad’s government,” he said.
“We are guests in Syria and that is why we will be speaking with the regime that exists at the present moment in order to see the state of things there and protect Palestinians against the distressful situation they are facing,” he added.