Australian PM Tony Abbott
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses members of the media after a party room meeting at Parliament House in Canberra February 9, 2015. Reuters/Sean Davey

Tony Abbott’s “stop the boat” policy has been misunderstood by the New York Times, argues a director of the National Press Club, referring to the NYT editorial about “Australia’s Brutal Treatment of Migrants.”

The NYT editorial asked European countries not to adopt the Australian model by denying asylum seekers desperately trying to enter via the sea route.

Fairfax Media's chief political correspondent Mark Kenny has said the editorial’s reference to Australia’s “heartless” migrant policies does not contribute anything to the ongoing attempts to solve the crisis.

“Prime Minister Tony Abbott has overseen a ruthlessly effective effort to stop boats packed with migrants, many of them refugees, from reaching Australia’s shores,” the NYT editorial says, “His policies have been inhumane, of dubious legality and strikingly at odds with the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war.”

Kenny argues Australia has accepted 4,400 Syrian refugees since the civil war. He refers to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop who has said Australia is actively considering increasing the number further.

According to Kenny, the tone of the editorial is “menacing.” Unlike what the term “ruthlessly ineffective” suggests, he argues the Australian PM’s policies have been quite effective in preventing deaths at sea.

Kenny’s remark refers to photographs of a drowned Syrian child, which have been plastered across the media and social networks this week and have drawn the world’s attention to the ongoing migrant crisis.

The political correspondent defends Abbott by saying Australia’s "heart or lack thereof, should be measured by how many people it helps and tries to help. Not by how many people it allows to die while expressing regret.”

Wall Street Journal reported Europe had been divided on the issue of migrant crisis. While Germany and France want to open its doors to solve the crisis, countries like Spain, Hungary and Poland refuse to accept a larger number of people.

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