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Obama urges European allies to accept 'fair share' of refugees

23 september 2015, 14:28

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday pressed European nations to take their "fair share" of refugees, after the EU reluctantly reached an agreement designed to halt a destabilizing humanitarian crisis, AFP reports.

After a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the White House said "the two leaders agreed on the need for a Europe-wide solution in which all European member states accept their fair share of refugees."

The statement is likely to be seen as a warning to Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia who unsuccessfully opposed a deal to relocate 120,000 refugees inside the European Union.

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico was among those who insisted he would not accept the "diktat" from Brussels.

But the Obama call will be diluted by accusations that Washington has itself not done enough to address the crisis, despite being the leading humanitarian donor to the region.

With millions of Syrians forced into camps across the Middle East, tens of thousands crossing Europe on foot and hundreds washing up dead on beaches, America has promised to take in only 10,000 as refugees next year.

In the fiscal year ending September 2015, the world's biggest economy took in 70,000 refugees.

The figures are dwarfed by the up to one million Syrian refugees Germany is expecting to take in this year alone.

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