Minister urges caution on plans by UNC MP to visit Syria

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Minister urges caution on plans by UNC MP to visit Syria

Chaguanas West MP Dinesh Rambally is being told to be cautious with his plans to visit Syria as part of a humanitarian effort.

Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne is urging the MP to err on the side of caution and has said that the
Government has been engaging in discussions on the plight and possible repatriation of TT nationals, mostly Muslim women and children, stranded in “countries deemed conflict zones.”

There have been reports since 2021 of close to 100 nationals in refugee camps in Syria and Iraq.

Rambally recently signalled his intent to visit Syria around the end of June, with a team to “engage in cross-border identity verification (by) ascertaining that those who are there are actually born of TT nationals.”

He said while there were lists with local data, the trip would ensure updated and accurate information was forthcoming.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Browne said Rambally’s decision reminded him of when UNC activist Brian Stone wanted to go to Ukraine in 2022 during the Russia/Ukraine war.

But he said. as with any TT national, he could only offer advice and caution.

He said the Government was co-ordinating with the governments of Turkiye and Syria among others.

He said he hoped Rambally’s intentions were “the most noble,” adding that there was the possibility of “danger when affairs of State are being treated with, that they could fall prey to just mere grand-standing without any substance behind it.