Persian Gulf Arabs Indifferent to Migrant Crisis

Persian Gulf Arabs Indifferent  to Migrant CrisisPersian Gulf Arabs Indifferent  to Migrant Crisis

The richest Arab nations in the Middle East are not taking in Syrian refugees, the largest population of migrants overwhelming neighboring Middle Eastern countries and flooding into Europe.

Persian Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait refuse to resettle those fleeing the Syrian civil war that has been raging for more than four years.

Nearly half of Syria’s prewar population of more than 20 million people have been displaced within Syria or have fled the country, according to the United Nations. The neighboring nations of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq have taken in more than 3.5 million Syrians combined. But tens of thousands more have embarked on perilous journeys this year across the Mediterranean and through the Balkans to reach northern Europe, USA Today reported.

“The bottom line is that in terms of resettlement, the (Persian) Gulf states have not stepped up in accepting refugees,” said Geoffrey Mock, the Syria specialist for Amnesty International USA. “They have offered zero resettlement places ... and this is shameful.”

Amnesty International singled out Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain for failing to take in Syrians.

  Thousands Arrive in Germany

Thousands arrived in Germany by way of Austria by train, bus and car on Saturday. Most went to Munich, the Bavarian capital, where authorities said some 7,000 people were registered and over half received a bed for the night.

Special trains also took 570 people to the Thuringian town of Saalfeld. More than half of them were taken onward to Dresden, where a school for German army officers has been cleared to provide temporary shelter for 350 newcomers, AP reported.

Other trains brought migrants to Hamburg in the north and Dortmund in the west of the country, while more than 300 people traveled to the capital Berlin on specially chartered buses.

At each stop the migrants were received with cheers, bags of food and toys for the children.

  EU Split

Europe is deeply divided over how to handle the continent’s biggest refugee crisis since the end of World War II, and Hungary’s hard line contrasted with a show of solidarity elsewhere in Europe.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila offered to put up refugee families in his country home, in France more than 10,000 people rallied in support of the migrants and in Frankfurt, hundreds of Germans gathered at the city’s railroad station to welcome refugees with water, food and clothing.

Under intensifying pressure at home and abroad, British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to admit 15,000 refugees from Syria, the Sunday Times reported in London.

EU foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, discussed proposals for mandatory quotas to resettle 160,000 refugees across member states.

But the 28-nation bloc is divided roughly along east-west lines, with relative newcomers to the EU from the former Soviet bloc, led by Hungary, taking a harder stance.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR on Saturday said 366,402 migrants had crossed the Mediterranean to Europe this year, with 2,800 dying or going missing en route.