A Syrians to Be Welcomed after 18 Months of Talks

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), September 5, 2015 | Go to article overview

A Syrians to Be Welcomed after 18 Months of Talks


Byline: Mike Kelly Reporter mike.kelly@ncjmedia.co.uk

UP to 50 SYRIANS are to be offered a new home in Newcastle as the refugee crisis deepens.

The news comes after the pictures of the body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned as his family sought asylum, were published.

The boy perished with his brother and mother and their tragic tale appears to have stirred the conscience of the world.

It has emerged that negotiations between Newcastle City Council and the Government to bring Syrian refugees to the city actually started as far back as January 2014.

It was then the council responded positively to the government's Syrian Vulnerable Person Relocation (SVPR) scheme by offering to accommodate and support up to 10 families - affected by the on-going humanitarian crisis. Deputy council leader Joyce McCarty said: "It's taken a long time because there have been so many obstacles to overcome." The Government has now accepted the council's proposal in principle and will be visiting Newcastle later this month to discuss it in more detail.

A Home Office spokesman refused to comment on the length of time it has taken for the negotiations to be concluded.

However Liberal Democrat councillors on Newcastle City Council called for the authority to offer sanctuary to 30 refugee families affected by the ongoing crisis in Syria and Libya.

In a statement, the party pointed out anyone who uses an Apple i-Phone, iPad or computer is using a product invented by a company established by the son of a Syrian refugee.

"By opening our doors, we might be offering a home to a future inventor, entrepreneur, surgeon, or artist who could enrich all of our lives, rather than turning them away and literally leaving them to die," the statement said. …

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