By: V4 Agency
On the heels of Denmark’s move, Sweden’s government has also classified some governorates of Syria safe, and therefore, will no longer be automatically issuing Syrian citizens residence permits. However, those already possessing a valid Swedish document will not be repatriated, the Swedes emphasized.
Following in the footsteps of Denmark, Sweden has also classified some governorates of Syria – including Damascus and the neighbouring areas – safe and secure. The decision came after the Bashar El-Assad led Syrian government forces had regained control over the southern and central part of the country, with active fighting limited to the regions in the north.
According to Sweden’s stance, Syrian nationals already issued a valid Swedish residence permit will not be repatriated. However, the Nordic country will no longer automatically grant asylum to Syrian citizens.
Denmark was strongly criticised for declaring some governorates of Syria safe in early March and beginning to revoke Danish residence permits from Syrian citizens within the framework of a zero asylum seekers policy.
At the time, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) expressed concerns regarding Denmark’s decision, even though deportations were temporarily suspended until the Danish government established the cooperation of the Syrian regime.