US President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged countries to â€śwelcome the stranger in our midstâ€ť at a summit that drew pledges from 50 countries to take in 360,000 refugees.
Speaking at a US-led refugee summit at the United Nations, Obama praised Germany and Canada among other countries for opening up their doors to those fleeing the war in Syria and other conflicts.
â€śWe are facing a crisis of epic proportion,â€ť Obama said.
â€śWe cannot avert our eyes or turn our backs. To slam the door in the face of these families would betray our deepest values.â€ť
Some 50 world leaders took part in the summit, but their participation was conditional on making new commitments to address the worldâ€™s largest refugee crisis since World War II.
â€śCollectively, our nations are roughly doubling the number of refugees that we admit to our countries to more than 360,000 this year,â€ť Obama announced.
In particular, seven countries â€” Romania, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Luxembourg â€” committed to resettle or admit at least 10 times more refugees than in 2015, according to US officials.
While the new pledges would allow more asylum-seekers to rebuild their lives, it represented a fraction of the 1.1 million refugees who are in need of resettlement in 2016, according to the UN refugee agency. This according toAFP
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