The Obama administration will increase the number of worldwide refugees it takes in, as Western leaders scramble to address the Syrian refugee crisis, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said at a news conference on Sunday.
Kerry had a meeting with German foreign minister, to discussed on the mass migration of Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war.
According to reports, four million Syrians have fled to other countries, and hundreds of thousands of others from the Middle East and Africa have been pouring into Europe. Many have lost their life crossing the borders.
Kerry said the current cap of 70,000 migrants annually will be increased to 85,000 by next year. United States will increase the number of refugees it takes in by 15,000 over each of the next two years, bringing the total to 100,000 by 2017.
Part of the additional refugees would be Syrian, while others would come from conflict-torn areas of Africa, said an American official.
Kerry did not say how many of the additional refugees would be from Syria but said that the US was ready to help.
“In consultation with Congress, we will continue to explore ways to increase those figures while maintaining robust security,” Kerry told a news conference after meeting Steinmeier. “We still need to do more, and we understand that,” Mr. Kerry added.
Kerry also announced he will hold talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this week on ways to restart negotiations on a political solution to end Syria’s war.
“We have agreed on certain formats and processes by which we should try and proceed,” he said, adding that he would meet with his Russian and Iranian counterparts to discuss the situation in Syria.
“This will be a very timely meeting in New York and will give us tremendous opportunity to be able to work together and surely will find ways to end the war.”