Assad says refugee returns a 'priority' for Syria


DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the return of refugees to the country is top priority of his government, as large parts of the country have been recaptured by government forces and the fightings have subsided.

He was talking to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin through video call yesterday, ahead of a Moscow-backed conference on the Syrian refugees repatriation in Damascus on Wednesday.

More than half of Syria's population has been forced to flee their homes since the conflict started in 2011.

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