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ICC Note:

After millions of refugees fleeing violence and persecution died while crossing the Mediterranean Sea, France has decided to open up a “humanitarian corridor.” This means that AirFrance will fly 500 Syrian Christian refugees currently in Lebanon to France. They will start with 30 Syrian Christians next week. Once they arrive in France, they will receive financial support and assistance applying for their visa and asylum. This will help to provide Christian refugees with safe passage and will protect them from being taken advantage by human smugglers.

06/30/2017 Syria (Express) – The refugees – for the most part families – will arrive in France early July and will be landing at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, a spokesperson for Air France said.

An accord signed in March between the French government and an alliance of Christian charities states that up to 500 Syrian Christian refugees are to be brought over from Lebanon – where they have been living in refugee camps – over the next 18 months.

Air France, which is 17.6 per cent government owned, will be flying all 500 refugees over to France.

The aim of the project, which was spearheaded by the Italian Sant’Egidio Christian charity and peace group, is to provide an alternative to Syrian refugees to undertaking perilous sea journeys across the Mediterranean.

The charities will support the refugees financially once they arrive in their host country, while government officials will help them with their visa and asylum applications.  

Air France stressed that the deal between the French government and the charities “prioritised families and vulnerable people,” adding that families would “not be separated” and that refugees would travel with an aid worker or with an Air France employee “if needed”.


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