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Scotland willing to take Syrian refugees

Scotland is "ready and willing" to help resettle refugees from the Syrian conflict, Holyrood ministers said.

Children in Syria
Children in Syria

External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said there was a "moral obligation" to provide relief to the most vulnerable refugees.

She spoke after Prime Minister David Cameron told the Commons that the UK would "act with the greatest urgency" to offer the most needy people in Syria a home.

Ms Hyslop pledged the full support of Scotland to the aid effort, saying: "The situation in Syria is continuing to deteriorate and the Scottish Government welcomes the UK government's commitment to offer refuge to those who are caught in the crossfire of this bloody conflict.

"Working with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) and the Scottish Refugee Council (SRC), we have prepared a strategy for integrating refugees into our communities. This strategy sets out our vision of Scotland as a country where refugees can find safety and support.

"We are also currently speaking with both CoSLA and the SRC so we can coordinate a response to this specific immediate situation."

She said First Minister Alex Salmond has written to the Prime Minister calling on the UK Government to join the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees' resettlement programme.

"We have a moral obligation to provide immediate relief to the most vulnerable refugees, and Scotland is ready and willing to play a full role in any UK-wide resettlement effort," she added.

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