As many as 1.7 mln Syrian refugees have expressed a wish to return to their home country, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday, TASS reports.
"According to summary information, 45 countries are currently hosting more than 6.8 mln refugees, including 2 mln women and 3.5 mln children," she said. "The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says that Turkey is hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees - more than 3.5 mln - while 975,000 refugees are residing in Lebanon and another 566,000 in Jordan. Meanwhile, as many as 1.7 mln Syrian refugees have expressed a wish to return to their home country from Brazil, Germany, Denmark, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey," Zakharova noted.
She also said that while working to implement Moscow’s initiative for the return of Syrian refugees, the Russian Foreign and Defense ministries were maintaining close contacts with the authorities of countries hosting Syrian refugees in order to get exact information about their numbers.
Last week, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin made visits to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, which were focused on the Syrian refugee issue. Lavrentyev later said in an interview with TASS that Moscow had proposed to Ankara that a plan of refugee activities be made in order to facilitate the return of refugees to their places of permanent residence.