Italy navy rescues 2,600 boat migrants; Europe should accept more Syrian refugees, official says

A rescuer helps a woman to disembarks from the Italian military ship “Chimera” with around 350 would be immigrants arrives on June 30, 2014 in the port of Pozzallo, Sicily, one day after a rescue operation off the coast of Sicily

More than 2,600 migrants were rescued by the Italian navy this weekend, authorities said Monday, as police searched for new arrivals who landed by night on Sicily’s southern coast.

Seven boats carrying migrants and asylum seekers mainly from Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Algeria were intercepted between Saturday and Monday, bringing the total number of people arriving on Italian shores this year to over 68,000…

And: Europe should accept more Syrian refugees says Cecilia Malmstrom: (Reuters) – A top European Union official appealed to the EU’s 28 member states on Monday to step up their efforts to resettle Syrian refugees, saying Europe must offer a legal alternative to migrants who risk their life to reach the continent by sea.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Syria’s neighbors were hosting three million refugees displaced by the country’s three-year-old civil war but Europe had accepted fewer than 100,000.

“That’s not a lot of people. Today around half of the (EU) countries have said that they would engage in resettlement from Syria. I think all 28 (EU member states) should,” she said.

If all EU countries resettled as many as the two EU countries that take most Syrian refugees, Sweden and Germany, did, “we could at least help 150,000 resettled refugees,” she said…

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