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    This file photo taken on August 19, 2001 shows officials (C-in green flight uniforms) questioning a refugee as other refugees (R), mostly believed to be from Iraq, wait in the shade before boarding an Australian Air Force Hercules aircraft on the Australian island territory of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

    Melbourne Mayor Calls on Australia to Share Burden of Refugees

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    Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle claims that Australia should shoulder the burden with the rest of the world and Europe in particular and accept more migrants from the Middle East.

    MANILA (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko – Australia should shoulder the burden with the rest of the world and Europe in particular and accept more migrants from the Middle East, Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle told Sputnik.

    Australia has pledged to take in 12,000 Syrian refugees before Christmas, lending a helping hand to Europe, struggling with migrant crisis.

    "This is quite a large number for us… It is quite a costly exercise, but I think that we should react and bring people in. I would be very disappointed if Australia didn’t do its share in shouldering this burden," the official said.

    Then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the resettlement of the extra Syrian refugees in September. His government has been repeatedly criticized by the international community over the treatment of asylum seekers arriving on Australian shores in search of refuge.

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    Refugees, including young children, who come to Australia seeking asylum are settled in offshore detention camps at the nearby island of Manus in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, which had been criticized by rights groups for inhumane living conditions.

    "This would bring a very large Syrian population. So it will be upon us as the city to work hard… to make sure that they feel very much at home, that they are connected to the services they need in Australia, and that they feel that they are part of our community," Doyle said.

    He added that it would be up to a network from civil community to work with refugees, engaging them in social activities and thus helping their integration.

    Then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the resettlement of the extra Syrian refugees in September. His government has been repeatedly criticized by the international community over the treatment of asylum seekers arriving on Australian shores in search of refuge.

    Related:

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    Use of Force in Australian Refugee Centers Soars Amid Resettlement
    Australia in Talks With Philippines to Resettle Refugees
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    migrant crisis, refugees, Australia, Melbourne
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