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Low US Acceptance of Syrian Refugees - a Failure of Country's Leadership

© REUTERS / Dimitris MichalakisSyrian refugees climb a slope after arriving on an overcrowded dinghy under heavy rainfall on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast, September 28, 2015
Syrian refugees climb a slope after arriving on an overcrowded dinghy under heavy rainfall on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast, September 28, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The low number of Syrian refugees accepted by the United States reveals a breakdown in US global leadership, former United Kingdom Foreign Secretary and CEO of the International Crisis Group David Miliband said on Friday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — More than nine million Syrians have fled the violence in their country since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, according to United Nations estimates. Syria’s immediate neighbors in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have together accepted close to three million Syrians.

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“You cannot force your way into a global leadership position while you are only taking 1,800 [Syrian] refugees into this country,” Miliband stated at a US Institute of Peace conference on humanitarian relief.

The United States is failing “to recognize the symbolic significance for the countries of the Middle East,” who are resettling millions of Syrian refugees, compared the hundreds accepted by the United States, Miliband argued.

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He added that “the ‘tell’ that comes from that failure is very, very significant.”

In September, President Barack Obama announced the United States would take in as many as 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016.

The United Kingdom, which has taken in fewer than 5,000 Syrian refugees since 2011, will accept 20,000 over the next year, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Europe has seen an influx of more than 110,000 Syrians in 2015, according to the UN.

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