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Refugees should be welcomed with open arms

Published 04/09/2015

I write to express my horror at the European response to the grotesque experience of our African and Middle Eastern brothers and sisters and, hopefully, to rouse some compassionate anger on behalf of terrified refugees who are risking their lives and those of their families by feeling that they must flee across desert without guarantee of water, or by sea without the guaranteed safety of seaworthy boats, and - worse still - no international, legalised compulsion placed upon the limit of passengers which such craft may carry.

Few people could not be moved by compassion for so many members of the human family who have felt, through hunger, disease, violence or oppression, forced to endure such cruel, inhuman experience.

With the exception of Germany and Sweden, the response to such a terrible crisis by other European governments has been far too little, far too late.

To welcome people in distress is to have a friend for life; by the same token, to reject such people will cause resentment to be passed on through succeeding generations.

JOHN ROBB

Co-convenor, New Ireland Confederation

Belfast Telegraph

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