Syrian Armenians’ desire to leave Armenia for Canada that was seen three or four months ago has now faded out, Armenia’s Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan told Tert.am.
Some families had to reunite and they left for Canada.
“Some other people were happy to leave for Canada due to simplified visa requirements. However, on arriving they saw that, in contrast to Armenia, they had no opportunities or privileges to settle down there,” Ms Hakobyan said.
And not so many Syrian Armenians are leaving Armenia now.
About 20,000 Armenians arrived in Armenia from Syria. Seventeen thousand of them have settled down in the country, while 3,000 regularly leave and return to the country.
“And the problems in Syria force many Armenians to come to Armenia even now,” the minister said.
The Armenians that have come to Armenia are sure their Arab neighbors are in a grave situation in Syria now. They are living in camps on less than US $1 a day.
“The refugees that have fled Syria have found themselves in a disastrous situation. More than two million refugees are half-starved or have drowned in the sea. So Syrian Armenians are now comparing their conditions with the situation their neighbors have found themselves in,” Ms Hakobyan said.
Syrian Armenians are living and working in the same conditions as Armenian citizens.
“The Armenian state has done its best, and the United Nations has now made Armenia a model for other countries in terms of working with refugees. Refugees are viewed as a negative factor in other countries, whereas in our country they are considered a positive one because they are involved in developing the country’s economic and social life,” Ms Hakobyan said.
As regards integration problems, the minister said that Syrian Armenians are fully integrated in terms of education, healthcare social security.
“Thirteen thousand Syrian Armenians have acquired Armenia’s citizenship during the past five years, and 1,800 have been granted residence permits, which is evidence of integration level,” Ms Hakobyan said.
Economic integration continues because not all employable Syrian Armenians have found jobs or are satisfied with their current employment. However, Armenia-based business are facing the same problems.