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Brazil to issue visas to Syrian refugees
September 24, 2013, 11:04 pm

Rousseff told the world body that only a political solution will work to resolve the Syrian crisis [Xinhua]

Rousseff told the world body that only a political solution will work to resolve the Syrian crisis [Xinhua]

Brazil is about to start granting two-year humanitarian visas to Syrians who have been affected by the civil war there or forced to become refugees elsewhere.

The government said in its official gazette that the National Committee for Refugees authorised the foreign ministry to start issuing the visas.

According to a spokesperson at the Justice Ministry, the move came in part because Brazil is home to a decades-old Syrian community, estimated at three million people, and also as a means to help millions of refugees who have escaped to neighbouring countries in the Middle East.

The Justice Ministry announced that some 250 Syrians have arrived in Brazil; the number is expected to rise. On Friday, 27 Syrian families applied for refugee status in Brazil. but the number has increased in the past few days, with the government receiving 27 refugee status requests just last Friday, the ministry added.

Brazil’s government has taken a strong position promoting a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Along with its fellow members in BRICS, Brazil played a major role in finding a political solution for the Syrian crisis, as the five members repeatedly stressed they are against a military strike and would rather work through the UN.

Brazil last month reiterated it’s non-interventionist approach to the Syrian situation, stating “there is no military solution to the conflict”, even as the nation condemned the August 21 suspected chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of Syrians.

The Syrian opposition has accused President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces of using chemical weapons, a charge denied by the Syrian government.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has called upon the international community to make efforts to end violence in Syria, and has stressed on an “inclusive political process, led by the Syrian people”.

During her address at the UN General Assembly Tuesday, Rousseff said that Syria’s decision to adhere to the Chemical Weapons Convention and to immediately apply its provisions is “of great importance”.

“This measure is instrumental to overcome the conflict and to contribute to a world free of those arms. Their use, I repeat, is heinous and inadmissible under any circumstances,” she said.

“For this reason, we support the agreement reached between the United States and Russia for elimination of Syrian chemical weapons. It is up to the Syrian government to implement this agreement fully, cooperatively and in good faith.”

Source: Agencies