UK to admit more Syrian refugees, says PM Cameron

International and domestic pressure pushes British Prime Minister to grant asylum to more Syrian refugees

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

British prime minister, David Cameron

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, vowed on Thursday to accept thousands of Syrian refugees from the UNHCR camps on the Syrian border into Britain, after adopting a tough policy towards refugees.

Cameron on Wednesday firmly asserted that the UK should not accept any more Syrian refugees, however, in less than 24 hours, his tone mellowed down, after receiving harsh criticism, in which many described him as “heartless.”

The British Prime Minister, told reporters that the country’s policy is “under review” towards refugees and that he too was “deeply moved” by the images of the three year old Syrian refugee, Aylan Kurdi, who was found dead and washed up ashore in the Bodrum district of Turkey. 

The family of the toddler was trying to reach Canada, their first stop would have been the Greek Island of Kos, after leaving the Syrian city of Kobane.

However, still defending the UK’s policy, he noted that taking in more refugees will not present a desired solution to solve the refugee crisis.

“I don’t think there is an answer that can be achieved simply by taking more and more refugees” he said.

The final number of refugees to be admitted will be fewer than tens of thousands, according to the Guardian report, Cameron did not offer more details or definite numbers .

“We have taken a number of genuine asylum seekers from Syria refugee camps and we keep that under review, but we think the most important thing is to try to bring peace and stability to that part of the world,” said Cameron according to the Guardian report.

During a visit to Northamptonshire, a county in the East Midlands of England, Cameron stated that Britain will accept thousands of more Syrian refugees, but with conditions. 

The refugees selected should be from UNHCR camps on the Syrian border, not from any other location or camps in the country.

Due to the huge number of refugees, which exceeds millions in the Middle East, Cameron insists that the key to end this dilemma is by finding a political solution.

Since 2011, when the conflict in Syria started, more than 5 million people have fled the country.

According to the Home Office, a British Government agency responsible for immigration, 5,000 Syrian families have settled in the UK since 2011.

The United Nations Refugee Agency, reported that 1.8 million refugees reside in Turkey, one million in Lebanon and more than 600,000 refugees are in Jordan.

Refugees are currently taking desperate measures to reach Europe, where they can potentially seek asylum. However, it has not been easy, as many have no choice but to opt for illegal immigration, lured by smugglers promise of a better life, they are loaded onto unseaworthy boats and attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea.



TRTWorld and agencies