Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2015 Contents A33
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Tens of thousands of people have
taken part in a "day of action" in
several European cities---and in
Australia---in support of refugees
There have also been counter-
demonstrations in some countries.
Europe is struggling to cope with
an enormous influx of people, mostly
from Syria, who are fleeing violence
and poverty in their own countries.
More than 9,000 migrants arrived
in Munich yesterday. Germany
expects 40,000 to arrive over the
Chancellor Angela Merkel defend-
ed the decision to let in large num-
bers of refugees, saying she was
"convinced it was right."
However, she faces growing crit-
icism from her political allies, includ-
ing the premier of the state of
Bavaria, who told Der Spiegel mag-
azine (in German) the situation
would soon be beyond control.
Around 4,000 troops are being
deployed in Germany for logistical
support. In London, tens of thou-
sands of people, some carrying plac-
ards that read "Open the Borders"
and "Refugees In" marched towards
the prime ministerial residence in
There were similar demonstrations
in other UK cities.
The British government has said
it will take up to 20,000 refugees
over five years, but from camps in
the Middle East rather than people
arriving in Europe.
In the Swedish capital Stockholm,
about 1,000 people appealed for
more generous support for refugees.
"Sweden can do much more, not
only because it has the capacity to
do so, but also because it, along with
the European Union, bears some
responsibility for the conflict in
Syria," said demonstrator Joakim,
38, who took part with his two chil-
An estimated 30,000 people ral-
lied gathered outside Parliament in
the Danish capital Copenhagen,
chanting "Say it loud and say it clear,
refugees are welcome here." (BBC)
Participants into a barefoot march in support of migrants, part of a country-wide initiative taking place in some 20 Italian cities, reach the
red carpet of the 72nd edition of the Venice Film Festival at the Venice Lido, Italy, on Friday.
Thousands march in
solidarity with refugees
People take part in a demonstration in support of
migrants, holding up placards saying 'Refugees
welcome' in front of the Mikolaj Kopernik's statue in
Warsaw, Poland, yesterday. The placard reads:
'Refugees are welcome, no to racism and Islamophobia.'
Egypt's government has resigned and
the country's oil minister has been
asked to form a new Cabinet within a
week, the office of President Abdul
Fattah al-Sisi has said.
No official reason was given for the
government's resignation. However, a
senior source was quoted as saying the
aim was to reshuffle the Cabinet
following a corruption scandal.
Last Monday, Egypt's agriculture
minister was arrested in connection
with the corruption inquiry.
In a statement, the presidency said
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab had
delivered the government's resignation
to President Sisi who accepted it. It said
the president had asked outgoing oil
minister Sharif Ismail to form the new
Cabinet within a week. The outgoing
government is to play a caretaker role
until then, the statement said. A senior
government official said the reshuffle
was to "pump new blood" into the
government following the arrest of
agriculture minister Salah Helal. Shortly
before his arrest, Helal had resigned on
the orders of President Sisi. Reports
said the arrest was in connection with
allegations that officials took bribes to
help businessmen illegally acquire state
Egypt govt resigns amid corruption inquiry
Saudi Arabia has defended its efforts to aid Syr-
ians fleeing the conflict in their country, following
criticism that Gulf countries have not been taking
in enough refugees since the crisis broke out there
more than four years ago.
The Saudi Press Agency on Friday cited an official
source in the foreign ministry as saying the kingdom
wanted to make clear its role in helping refugee in
light of charges it was doing nothing.
The official said it was "important to clarify
these efforts with facts and numbers in response
to media reports, which included false and mis-
leading accusations about the kingdom."
None of the six states that form the Gulf Coop-
eration Council, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab
Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, has signed
the UN convention on refugees, which has governed
international law on asylum since World War Two.
But Gulf states say they have taken in hundreds
of thousands of Syrians since the civil war there
began in 2011, just not as refugees.
The source said Saudi Arabia had received nearly
2.5 million Syrians since the conflict erupted.
"(Saudi Arabia) was keen to not deal with them
as refugees, or to put them in refugee camps, to
preserve their dignity and safety, and gave them
complete freedom of movement."
"(Saudi Arabia) gave whoever chose to stay in
the kingdom, which are in the hundreds of thou-
sands, proper residency ... with all the rights that
are included like free health care and engaging in
the workforce and education."
The kingdom has also provided about $700m in
humanitarian aid to Syrians and had set up clinics
in various refugee camps, the statement by the
press agency said.
The official source said more than 100,000 Syrian
students were receiving free education in the king-
dom. (Al Jazeera)
Saudi Arabia denies not
giving Syrians sanctuary
Two Russian cargo planes carrying 80 tonnes
of humanitarian aid have landed in Syria, Syrian
state media say.
It comes amid reports that Russia is stepping up
military support to the Syrian government.
The planes flew into an air base near the coastal
city of Latakia, a stronghold of President Bashar
Russia has been a key ally of President Assad
during Syria s bloody four-year civil war.
Analysts say that without the Kremlin s backing,
President Assad may have fallen by now.
The planes flown in to Latakia yesterday were
carrying materials for setting up a tent camp for
refugees, according to Russian Defence Ministry
spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov.
He said the shipment included beds, mattresses,
stoves, water cisterns and food.
Earlier this week, the US and Nato expressed
concern that Russia was increasing its military
presence in Syria. (BBC)
Russian cargo planes
'carrying aid' arrive in Syria
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