G20 agrees refugees a global prob­lem

The Myanmar Times - - World -

deep pock­ets and per­va­sive con­trol to win re­cent by-elec­tions.

How­ever, lead­ing in­de­pen­dent poll­ster Ibrahim Suf­fian called the hand­shake “a big deal” and a po­ten­tially sig­nif­i­cant sign that Mr Ma­hathir was ready to link up with the op­po­si­tion he once fiercely bat­tled.

“The fun­da­men­tal prob­lem for the op­po­si­tion was that Ma­hathir and An­war couldn’t get along,” Mr Ibrahim said.

“Their shak­ing hands means their in­ter­ests have con­verged.”

The next gen­eral elec­tion must be held by mid-2018. – THE G20 group agreed at their sum­mit in China that refugees are a global is­sue and the bur­den must be shared, the lead­ers de­clared in a joint com­mu­nique.

“World­wide mas­sive forced dis­place­ment of peo­ple, un­prece­dented since the Sec­ond World War, es­pe­cially those gen­er­ated from vi­o­lent con­flicts, is a global con­cern,” they said at the end of their two-day gath­er­ing on Septem­ber 5.

The Group of 20 re­it­er­ated their call from last year’s sum­mit in Turkey for “global con­certed ef­forts in ad­dress­ing the ef­fects, pro­tec­tion need and root causes of refugee cri­sis to share the bur­den as­so­ci­ated with it”.

The group called for strength­en­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance for refugees and in­vited all states “ac­cord­ing to their in­di­vid­ual ca­pac­ity” to ramp up aid to in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions as­sist­ing af­fected coun­tries.

A steady stream of refugees has flowed into Europe over the last year, largely flee­ing the civil war in Syria.

The is­sue has be­come a po­lit­i­cal flash­point for lead­ers in the re­gion as a se­ries of Is­lamist ter­ror at­tacks and ris­ing anti-glob­al­i­sa­tion sen­ti­ment have com­bined to cre­ate an in­creas­ingly in­hos­pitable en­vi­ron­ment for refugees from the bru­tal con­flict.

The group’s com­mu­nique called for in­creas­ing ef­forts to “find durable so­lu­tions”, par­tic­u­larly for “pro­tracted refugee sit­u­a­tions”.

A se­nior EU diplo­mat told AFP that G20 was mak­ing a strong stand on in­clud­ing the is­sue in the com­mu­nique, but noted it was not a bind­ing com­mit­ment. –

Photo: AFP

Jailed Malaysian op­po­si­tion leader An­war Ibrahim speaks out­side court in Kuala Lumpur Septem­ber 5.

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