Uzbekistan repatriates 99 people from camps in North and East Syria; Belgium plans DNA test for 27 children to be repatriated

BRUSSELS / ZALIN, Syria — During a meeting of the Belgian Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès announced that 27 children in displacement camps in North and East Syria would undergo DNA testing before being repatriated. Wilmès noted that tests could be conducted locally and analyzed in Belgium.

Two Belgian women were still in Syria, one of whom was being held with two children in the Syrian capital Daramsuq (Damascus).

The Foreign Minister also stated that children born in Syria and had at least one Belgian national as a parent could be repatriated with a temporary passport or emergency visa, stressing that it was the prerogative of the Immigration Department to determine the factors and reasons for the entry of children born in Syria who did not have a birth certificate to Belgian territory.

In related news, a delegation from the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by the Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Kuwait, Dr. Behramji Alayov, arrived at the headquarters of the Foreign Relations Commission of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) in Zalin (Qamishli) on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the Commission discussed the administrative system of the region and the economic and security issues it faces. The Uzbek delegation made several other visits to administrative bodies in North and East Syria.

On Friday, custody of 92 Uzbek citizens (24 women and 68 children) and 7 orphans was transferred from the DAA to the Uzbek delegation, one of the largest single repatriations of foreign nationals from North and East Syria.