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These Afghan migrants made it to Lesbos - but the crossing is perilous in such flimsy boats. Photo: AP

Australia minister rejects MP’s call for Middle East refugee ban

WT24 Desk

Australia’s immigration minister has rejected a call by an MP to close its borders to refugees from the Middle East, in the wake of the Paris attacks, BBC reports.  Andrew Fraser, a conservative MP, made the call on Facebook. “Message to Malcolm Turnbull: Australia does not need Middle Eastern refugees or Islamic boat people,” he wrote.

But Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said Australia would not back away from a decision to accept 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq. “Australia obviously faces a very different situation than countries in Europe that have land borders,” Dutton told Australia’s Seven Network. The timetable for accepting those refugees could blow out as authorities undertook additional security checks, Dutton said.

A Syrian passport was found near the body of one of the suicide bombers involved in the Paris attacks. The passport’s holder had used it to enter Greece as a refugee. It is not yet clear if authorities believe the passport’s holder was involved in the attack.

Fraser is an MP with the conservative state government in New South Wales and has no direct influence on national policy.

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