Refugees from Kyrgyzstan should return to Osh voluntarily - US Assistant Secretary of State
Return of Kyrgyzstani refugees from Kyrgyzstan should be voluntary, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Eric P. Schwartz stated on 29 June in Tashkent, news agency "24.kg" reported.
"We understand the concern of those who are afraid of returning to the place of terrible tragedy, and that is why it is important that the return has the voluntary character", said Eric P. Schwartz, who arrived yesterday at Tashkent to study the situation of refugees from Kyrgyzstan.
He informed that during his visit to Uzbekistan he met with representatives of its government, international humanitarian organizations and members of civil society. "As you understand, primarily I worked with the issues of the situation with refugees and displaced persons in the Fergana valley", said the representative of State.
He indicated that despite the fact that the majority of refugees have returned to Kyrgyzstan, "there is a certain concern regarding the circumstances, under which this return has taken place". "It is important that refugees, who can still be in the territory of Uzbekistan, have a chance to stay, and the border is open", emphasized Eric P. Schwartz.
The representative of State stated that he welcomed the opportunity to discuss these issues with official persons of Uzbekistan, "likewise their interest and readiness to consider and to discuss our concern regarding the current situation".
According to international organizations, around 110,000 refugees from Kyrgyzstan were located in the territory of Uzbekistan.