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Gulf states urge world to do more to help refugees

Gulf monarchies Tuesday called on the international community to take greater responsibility in aiding Syrian refugees

Published: Updated:

Gulf monarchies Tuesday called on the international community to take greater responsibility in aiding Syrian refugees after the oil-flush states came under fire for not taking in enough people fleeing war.

The foreign ministers of the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), after a meeting in Riyadh, called for a political solution in Syria as part of a worldwide effort to tackle the refugee crisis.

A statement called on “the international community to assume its responsibilities to help Syrian refugees.”

Hundreds of thousands of refugees, the majority escaping Syria’s civil war, have fled to Europe this year, posing EU leaders with the continent's biggest influx of migrants since World War II.

As EU ministers squabble over solutions to the crisis, Gulf countries have come under fire for not taking their fair share of refugees.

The GCC statement said the countries had accommodated “Syrian brothers, who are treated like residents and benefit from free healthcare, education and the right to work” since Syria’s war began in March 2011.

The ministers said the six states had taken in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, mainly from Lebanon and Jordan, and that they were also providing humanitarian funding and aid to those affected.

They called for “a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” including a transitional government and "the departure of all foreign fighters from Syria.”