Source AP ©

Jordan agrees to host meeting for countries hosting Iraqi refugees

Jordan agreed to host a meeting for countries hosting Iraqis who fled their country's violence. The meeting would tackle ways to ease those countries' burden.

Petra said the meeting, to take place in late July, will be attended by the United Nations. It would aim to find means to support host countries facing difficulties due to a teaming presence of Iraqis on their soils.

The announcement came during a meeting between Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul-Ilah al-Khatib and his visiting Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari.

Al-Khatib expressed the kingdom's commitment to bolster the efforts to achieve security and stability in Iraq, and maintain its unity for the benefit of stability and balance in the region.

Jordan hosts an estimated number of 750,000 Iraqis, according to government statistics. Their presence in the country has so far cost the government around US$1 billion (EUR0.84 billion) per year.

An estimated 1.5 million Iraqis have fled to Syria alone. Egypt and Lebanon hosts more than 200,000 each.

According to the U.N. refugee agency, about 50,000 people continue to flee Iraq every month, mostly to Jordan and Syria, which now complain that the refugees are exhausting their limited resources.

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