The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Friday cited an official source in the foreign ministry as saying the kingdom wanted to make clear its role in helping refugee in light of charges it was doing nothing. following criticism that Gulf countries have not been taking in enough refugees since the crisis broke out there more than four years ago.
The source said Saudi Arabia had received nearly 2.5 million Syrians since the conflict erupted. And more than 100,000 Syrian students were receiving free education in the kingdom.
None of the six states that form the Gulf Cooperation Council, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, has signed the UN convention on refugees, which has governed international law on asylum since World War Two.
“[Saudi Arabia] did not put them in refugee camps, to preserve their dignity and safety, they gave them complete freedom of movement.”
“[Saudi Arabia] gave freedom to stay in the kingdom, which are in the hundreds of thousands, proper residency with all the rights that are included like free health care and engaging in the workforce and education.”
The kingdom has also provided about $700m in humanitarian aid to countries hosting Syrian refugees and through international relief organisations.