Ireland can accept 5,000 refugees: Deputy PM

Dublin: Irish Deputy Prime Minister Joan Burton has said that her country can accept, over a period of time, up to 5,000 refugees.

State broadcaster RTE on Monday quoted the Irish Labor Party leader as saying that there will not be a cut-off at that figure, Xinhua reported.

She was also quoted as saying that Ireland needs to push for a peace settlement in Syria at the UN General Assembly.

Last week, Irish President Michael D. Higgins urged locals not to be afraid of an influx of refugees.

Higgins said that European Union (EU) countries are going to have to talk about the number of refugees they are accepting, adding that it is more likely two to three times the figure that was originally suggested to them.

The European Commission is expected to unveil a new proposal this week to relocate an extra 120,000 refugees across the EU. This is in addition to the 32,000 migrants that the EU agreed to accept in June.

Last week, Ireland’s Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said Ireland may admit as many as 1,800 refugees.

Ireland has so far agreed to take 600 refugees.