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Clinton: Global effort needed to help refugees

Published 08/09/2015

Mrs Clinton said the world should take responsibility over the migrant crisis
Mrs Clinton said the world should take responsibility over the migrant crisis

Hillary Clinton is calling for a "concerted global effort" to assist the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East, Africa and Asia seeking refuge in Europe.

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination said "everyone should be asked to do more" to help the migrants, many of whom are fleeing the civil war in Syria.

"I think we need to have a broad-based global response," Mrs Clinton said, before spending the Labour Day holiday campaigning in eastern Iowa and parts of Illinois.

"The United States certainly should be at the table, but so should everybody else.

"And if countries are not able to do more physically in taking in these refugees, they should do more financially."

Mrs Clinton, the former secretary of state, said she was speaking particularly about the oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf.

"They should be funding a lot of the resettlement work and supporting those countries that are bearing the burden of the refugees," she said.

Mrs Clinton spoke as European countries are debating how best to share responsibility for more than 340,000 people already seeking refuge on the continent.

Mrs Clinton said an international effort to assist the migrants should be coordinated by the United Nations. She praised Pope Francis, who has called on all Catholic parishes and religious communities to welcome in the migrants.

"The whole world has to take some responsibility," Mrs Clinton said.

On domestic matters, Mrs Clinton said that it would have been a "better choice" for her to use separate email accounts for her personal and public business during her tenure as US president Barack Obama's first secretary of state.

"I've also tried to not only take responsibility, because it was my decision, but to be as transparent as possible," Mrs Clinton said.

Mrs Clinton's efforts to address the email issue comes as her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, enjoys a surge in early opinion polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, drawing massive crowds to his rallies and events.

Mrs Clinton said the email issue has not damaged her campaign, but is a "distraction, certainly".

Last year, Mrs Clinton turned over roughly 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department that she sent and received using a home-brew email server set up at her home in suburban New York while serving as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

Mrs Clinton has said she set up her own system instead of using a State Department account for the convenience of using a single hand-held email device.

The State Department is reviewing and publicly releasing those emails, some showing that Mrs Clinton received messages that were later determined to contain classified information. Some of those regarded the production and dissemination of US intelligence.

"There is always a debate among different agencies about what something should be retroactively (marked classified)," Mrs Clinton told reporters.

"But at the time, there were none. So I'm going to keep answering the questions and providing the facts so that people can understand better what happened."

The Obama administration said it is "actively considering" ways to be more responsive to the global migrant crisis, including refugee resettlement.

Peter Boogaard, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the United States is in contact with countries in the Middle East and Europe grappling with the influx of more than 340,000 people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

He noted the US has provided over 4 billion US dollars in humanitarian assistance since the Syrian crisis began, and over 1 billion dollars in assistance this year.

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