Russian FM opposed to U.N. Syrian refugee visit

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The U.N. Security Council is not entitled to give the green light for inspections of Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday, seeing it as an attempt to prepare “foreign intervention”.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) “is competent for [organizing] visits of refugee camps that have been set by the U.N., the Security Council has no competence for that,” Lavrov said in Slovenia.

He added: “If there was an attempt to use the Syrian refugee situation to push forward some ideas about no-fly zones, then we and China might have seen in it an attempt to prepare a foreign intervention.”

The 15 Security Council member nations discussed on Thursday the possibility of sending a delegation to visit the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan but Russia and China opposed the idea, diplomats said.

Jordan this week warned that the growing exodus of Syrian refugees who had flooded over its border to escape civil war -- already over 500,000 -- was placing a “crushing weight” on the country.

The UNHCR has said the number of refugees in Jordan could reach 1.2 million by the end of the year -- equivalent to one fifth of the Jordanian population.

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