Brasilia, Sep 8 (IANS) Brazil is ready to welcome more refugees “with open arms”, President Dilma Rousseff said.
In a message marking Brazilian Independence Day on Monday, Rousseff said “even in tough times of crisis, such as now, we will welcome refugees with open arms”.
The message has special resonance at a time when refugees by the droves are fleeing the violence in the Middle East and North Africa and landing on European shores.
“I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the government’s willingness to receive those who, having been expelled from their place of origin, want to come here to work and contribute to Brazil’s peace and prosperity,” Xinhua quoted Rousseff as saying.
The president mentioned the tragic death of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach and came to symbolise the current refugee crisis after photos of the dramatic scene were published on front pages around the globe.
The image “touched all of us and presented the world with a challenge”, said Rousseff, noting Brazilian society is made up of different ethnicities.
In reference to Brazil’s domestic economic difficulties, the president said, “I know it’s my responsibility to present paths and solutions for the passage needed” but she also placed part of the blame on the global situation.
“It’s clear that the situation in many parts of the world has gotten worse,” she said.