The Washington Post reports:
The world has been transfixed in recent weeks by the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe, an influx of migrants unprecedented since World War II. Their plight was chillingly highlighted on Wednesday in the image of a drowned Syrian toddler, his lifeless body lying alone on a Turkish beach.
A fair amount of attention has fallen on the failure of many Western governments to adequately address the burden on Syria’s neighboring countries, which are struggling to host the brunt of the roughly 4 million Syrians forced out of the country by its civil war.
Including whether New Zealand can do more to help – and I think we can.
Less ire, though, has been directed at another set of stakeholders who almost certainly should be doing more: Saudi Arabia and the wealthy Arab states along the Persian Gulf.
As Amnesty International recently pointed out, the “six Gulf countries — Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain — have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees.”
These are very wealthy countries.
That’s a shocking figure, given these countries’ relative proximity to Syria, as well as the incredible resources at their disposal. As Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi, a Dubai-based political commentator, observes, these countries include some of the Arab world’s largest military budgets, its highest standards of living, as well as a lengthy history — especially in the case of the United Arab Emirates — of welcoming immigrants from other Arab nations and turning them into citizens.
So why won’t they help?