Australia receives first five Syrian refugees

Perth, Nov 17 (IANS) Five Syrians have become the first of 12,000 refugees to arrive in Australia under a one-off plan to resettle people fleeing the country’s conflict, the media reported on Tuesday.

The couple with three children arrived in Perth on Monday night after their resettlement was fast-tracked due to a medical condition.

Federal Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter said the family had “been through a great deal”.

They had spent very long periods of time in refugee camps as a result of the Syrian conflict, a spokesperson for the minister told the BBC.

Australia agreed in September to take in an extra 12,000 refugees amid public pressure over Europe’s migrant crisis.

The first Syrian refugees were not expected to arrive until December.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said all those being given refugee status in Australia had been “handpicked” by authorities and faced a rigorous screening process.

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