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Brazil blames European countries for refugee crisis

5 September 2015 12:05



Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has blasted Europe for the current refugee crisis, blaming the European countries for the death of a Syrian toddler after the image of his lifeless body circulated in media and galvanized public opinion.

Speaking at an event in the northeastern state of Paraiba on Friday, Rousseff said that Aylan Kurdi died due to the restrictions imposed by European states on the entry of asylum seekers into their borders.

“That 3-year-old Syrian child died because he was not welcome. He died because he was abandoned, because countries created barriers for the entrance of that child,” she said.

Aylan Kurdi along with his mother and 5-year-old brother died in a desperate voyage from Turkey to Greece earlier this week.

The image of Aylan’s lifeless body lying face-down on a beach near Turkish resort of Bodrum stirred public outrage at Europe’s handling of the refugee crisis, sparking criticism of Canada, where authorities had reportedly rejected an asylum application from the boy’s relatives.

A drawing depicting drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi reads “Omission also kills” during a candle light tribute to asylum seekers from Syria, in a train station in Barcelona, Spain, September 4, 2015. ©AFP


Rousseff emphasized that the South American country welcomes people from across the globe, adding, “Brazil was built by many ethnicities… from many cultures.”

According to the figures provided by the Brazilian government, the country took in 2,320 refugees, the majority from Syria, in 2014.

About 2,500 of the more than 300,000 people who have used sea routes to reach Europe this year have died, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says.

Most of the refugees who risk their lives to reach Europe are reportedly fleeing conflict-hit zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared up in March 2011, has reportedly claimed more than 240,000 lives up until now.

The Damascus government has repeatedly called on countries supporting and funding the terrorists operating in the Arab country, particularly Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, to stop their hostile practice.

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