Syrian refugees post security challenge to Jordan – PM Ensour

AMMAN, Jan 30 (KUNA) — Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said Saturday the Syria refugees’ issue was posing security challenges and “the world should realize that Jordan is carrying this burden on its (world) behalf.” King Abdullah II is expected to address an international conference to support Syria, due in London next week, and will make it clear that the Syrian question “is not a refugee issue anymore, but there is a security burden, extremism, sleeping cells, and trafficking of drugs, people and goods,” Ensour said.
Ensour was speaking to reporters after his visit to Al-Azraq Syrian refugee camp, 100 kilometers east of Amman. He was accompanied by Ministers of Interior, Planning and Information.
He said the number of Syrian refugees inside the camps did not exceed 120,000, but the rest, estimated at over 1.1 million, were scattered in the country and were “taking every job which forms a strain on our economy … .” Ensour said a census carried out two months ago put the number of Syrian refugees at 1.26 million.
He said the world started realizing the magnitude of the Syrian conflict when the refugees started flocking to Europe in massive numbers.
The Syrian refugees were costing the Jordanian economy around USD 2.7 billion, he noted.
Al-Azraq and Zaatari refugee camps are the largest among a total of six in Jordan. (end)