(Reuters) – The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said on Wednesday he had asked the European Union to grant legal entry to more Syrian refugees who are risking their lives trying to reach Europe illegally by sea.
Thousands of migrants, including many Syrians fleeing a three-year civil war, have drowned while crossing the Mediterranean on rickety boats operated by human traffickers.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, Guterres said he had just come back “from Europe, from the European Council of Justice and Home Affairs, asking them for more Syrian refugees (to) also be able to come legally into Europe.”
“It breaks my heart to see Syrian families that have suffered already so much in their country to drown in the Mediterranean at the hands of smugglers,” he said.
In most of the photos I see of migrants arriving illegally by sea, the people look like sub-Saharan Africans, not people from the Middle East.