Austria to resettle 1,348 Syrian refugees

VIENNA, March 16 (KUNA) — Austria decided to host 1,348 Syrian refugees out of 1,900 migrants from Middle East countries as part of the European Agenda on Migration.
The agenda, presented by the European Commission last May, envisages resettling over 22,000 Syrian refugees in EU member states by the end of 2016 as a sign of solidarity with Syria’s neighbors, Austria Press Agency (APA) reported on Wednesday.
The EU countries have so far resettled 3,407 migrants with Austria accounting for the majority of them, according to the report.
Eastern European countries deny the Syrian refugees entry due to economic hardships while other EU members, notably Austria and Germany push for fair equitable admission scheme.
In a related development, Austrian Federal Minister of Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner announced a package of proposals regarding the Voluntary Humanitarian Admission Scheme with Turkey for refugees from Syria on the eve of the EU summit in Brussels.
The proposals include, inter alia, a requirement of Turkey stating that it is “a safe country of origin” for the refugees as a precondition for granting the asylum seekers entry visas, the APA report said, citing a message from Mikl-Leitner to the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos. (end)