Abbott indicates welcoming more Syrian refugees to Australia

By @pathakmishra on
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the Australia-China state and provincial leaders forum, also attended by China's President Xi Jinping, in Sydney November 19, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Sunday that the nation will accept more number of refugees from Syria, but he refused to increase the number of asylum seekers at the same time.

Abbott said in a press conference he was moved by the horrifying photographs of the three-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, who was drowned on a Turkey beach while crossing the Mediterranean Sea and therefore, he has decided to allow more Syrian refugees to enter the nation to take shelter on complete humanitarian grounds.

PM Abbott did not specify the exact number the nation would accept, but he ensured that it will be more than 4,400 people, which came in from Syria and northern Iraq in 2014, despite the official number proposed to increase to 18,750 in 2018. “Our focus will be on families and women and children, especially of persecuted minorities, who have sought refuge in camps neighbouring Syria and Iraq,” he told a press conference held in Canberra.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton flew to Geneva on Sunday night to hold necessary discussions with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, or UNHCR. Abbott, during his press conference, and provide more financial assistance to the UNHCR.

“We have always been a good global citizen. Always have been, always will be ... this is doing that right thing by Australia, and it’s doing the right thing by the world,” the prime minister said in Canberra, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald . He added the readiness of the nation to provide helping hands whenever it’s needed by the world.

National Security Committee of Cabinet will decide this week whether it will launch air strikes against the Islamic State targets in Syria. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also demanded for enhancement in the number of refugees allowed to take shelter in the Australian refugee camps. He claimed that Australia is capable of taking more refugees in and is ready to provide vital resources to the UNHCR.

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