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Refugee crisis: UK to accept 20,000 people from Syria by 2020

David Cameron has announced that the UK is to resettle up to 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next four and a half years.

Mr Cameron told the House of Commons on Monday that the UK would live up to its moral responsibility towards the people forced from their homes by the forces of president Bashar Assad and the Islamic State terror group.

He said that Britain would take in vulnerable refugees only from camps in the region, and not those who have crossed the Mediterranean into Europe in their thousands over recent months.

Mr Cameron told MPs: "We are proposing that Britain should resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the rest of this Parliament.

"In doing so, we will continue to show the world that this country is a country of extraordinary compassion, always standing up for our values and helping those in need."

DUP North Belfast MP called on the Prime Minister to include Northern Ireland in discussions with the devolved countries and regions on the Syrian refugee crisis. The Prime Minister agreed to do so.

Mr Dodds said: "I welcome the Prime Minister's commitment to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis with the First Minister of Northern Ireland.

"There has been a massive outpouring of compassion and the heartfelt sympathy on the part of the people of Northern Ireland for the plight of people fleeing war torn Syria. So I welcome the Prime Minister's commitment to discuss with the First Minister how Northern Ireland can play its fair and proportionate part in alleviating the current crisis.

"It is right that the refugees who come to the UK should come from the refugee camps. To do otherwise only encourages and bolsters inhumane people traffickers who facilitate dangerous and life risking journeys by people coming to Europe.

"It is also right that there is a clear distinction between genuine refugees and economic migrants.

"Northern Ireland rightly has a great reputation for generosity and reaching out to help people in need across the globe.

"It stands ready to again play its proper role as part of the UK in helping to deal with one of the worst humanitarian crises ever to afflict the world."

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