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Australia to take 4,400 refugees from Syria, Iraq

Published on Aug 17, 2014 4:31 PM
 
Refugees at Nowruz refugee camp, in Qamishli, north-eastern Syria, where displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar are seeking refuge, on Aug 16, 2014. Australia will offer to resettle some 4,400 people fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday, Aug 17, adding the places had been freed up by success in stopping asylum-seeker boats. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia will offer to resettle some 4,400 people fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday, adding the places had been freed up by success in stopping asylum-seeker boats.

Boat arrivals have all but dried up since Australia said it would refuse resettlement to any refugees arriving on unauthorised vessels, sending them instead to Papua New Guinea and Nauru in the Pacific.

"The government's policies under Operation Sovereign Borders have not only saved lives at sea, but also allowed more places to be returned to our humanitarian programme for the world's most desperate and vulnerable people," he said.

The minister said a minimum of 2,200 places would be for Iraqis, including ethnic and religious minorities fleeing the violence in the north of the country.

 
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