Europe’s Image Tainted by Refugee Crisis: Spanish FM
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, who is in Iran on an official visit, said on Monday that the ongoing immigration crisis in Europe has tarnished the continent’s image.
Unfortunately, the humanitarian disaster that has emerged due to the crimes committed by terrorist groups in the region has turned into a global crisis, Garcia-Margallo said in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran.
“The refugee crisis has tainted the image of Europe,” he added, urging that the European Union should make more serious efforts in this regard in accordance with fundamental ethical principles.
“We will do our best to host as many refugees as possible. I cannot talk about figures right now, but we will try to go for the highest number,” he added, in reply to a question about Spain’s quota for receiving Syrian asylum-seekers.
He went on to say that discussing international issues, including the refugee crisis, has been one of the main goals behind his visit to Tehran.
“Unfortunately, these acts of terrorism in many regional countries have caused serious damage to people. 22 million Syrian people are in dire need of all-out help,” Garcia-Margallo added.
In similar remarks on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also called on European countries to fulfill their humanitarian duty and adopt a positive approach towards the Middle Eastern refugees escaping the war-hit region.
Given the difficulties and predicaments these displaced refugees are facing, it is necessary that governments, especially in Europe, help them as a global humanitarian duty, Rouhani stressed.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011. In the past four years, more than 200,000 people have died in Syria – overwhelmingly civilians – and around 4 million Syrian people are now refugees in other countries. Another 7.6 million are displaced inside Syria.
These refugees are now flocking to European countries in a bid to escape the war and poverty in the Middle East. The massive immigration has caused a serious refugee crisis in the continent, where numerous states are not yet sure whether to host the huge Syrian population or not.