No priority for Christian Iraqi refugees: EU Presidency

The EU presidency said on Friday there could be no priority for Christian Iraqi refugees, after German ministers said Europe should take them in.

No priority for Christian Iraqi refugees: EU Presidency
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble wrote in Bild am Sonntag newspaper last Sunday that he was worried about the situation of Iraq's Christian refugees.

"We must help here and offer them a home in European countries until they can return to their home," he wrote, ahead of EU justice and interior minister talks on Friday.

The interior minister for Slovenia's EU Presidency, Dragutin Mate, said the idea would be discussed but religion should not be a precondition, as he arrived at the ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, where Schaeuble intends to raise this issue.

"We will discuss about that but generally I believe that we must accept refugees and give them asylum ... without the precondition of religion or of anybody's race," Mate said.

"That is the basic reason why I am afraid it will be very hard to work in that way," Mate told reporters, who had asked if Christian refugees should be given priority.

German Integration Minister Maria Boehmer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party, said this week that: "It is a human imperative that we quickly help the persecuted Christians (from Iraq) and take them in to Germany."

Tens of thousands of Iraqis Muslims were killed since the 2003 U.S.-led occupation.

Many of Iraq's Christians have left the country, among the two million Muslim refugees who have fled to neighbouring states.

Reuters
Last Mod: 18 Nisan 2008, 15:32
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