The Chilean government said Sunday that the country was ready to receive 60 Syrian refugees as part of an agreement between the government and the Arab community.
The tax ministry approved the budget for their transport, added Sergio Bitar, former education minister and coordinator of the initiative in an interview with local media. Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy also confirmed that the last details had been sorted out.
The agreement dates back to September 2015 — a decision made by current President Michelle Bachelet, which brought between 120 and 200 Syrian families to the South American country in 2016.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced then that his country would receive up to 20,000 Syrians. Several Latin American countries, including Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil, approved under ousted President Dilma Rousseff, are already hosting refugees from the war-torn nation.
Latin America is known for taking in refugees and immigrants from other parts of the world. During the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s subsequent dictatorship, Spaniards fled to Latin America, as did many Jewish refugees during and after World War II.
Last Friday, the United States fired cruise missiles at a base from which President Donald Trump said a deadly chemical weapons attack had been launched on Tuesday, the first direct U.S. assault on the government of Bashar al-Assad in six years of civil war.
Under international humanitarian law, whether a conflict is internal or international, civilians must be spared and medical facilities protected. Warring parties must observe the key principles of precaution and proportionality and distinguish between combatants and civilians.