Brazil extends visa scheme for Syrians

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Brazil will extend by two years its programme to take in Syrian asylum seekers, currently due to end this month, the Justice Ministry said Monday.

The programme, started in 2013, has seen 7,752 of the fast-track visas issued, mostly by embassies in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and a total of 2,097 Syrians granted refugee status in Brazil.

Brazil is hosting 8,530 official refugees, including a large number from Haiti, which was devastated by the 2010 earthquake.

President Dilma Rousseff called for the international distribution of Syrian refugees to be discussed in a UN General Assembly in New York.

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