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Brazil grants visas to Syrians fleeing conflict

September 24, 2013

SAO PAULO (AP) — Syrians who want to leave their conflict-wracked nation and travel to Brazil will be granted special visas to travel to Latin America’s biggest country, the government said Tuesday.

The government’s official gazette announced Tuesday that the National Committee for Refugees authorized the foreign ministry to issue the visas for “humanitarian reasons,” allowing Syrians affected by the conflict and the “deterioration of living conditions” to enter the South American country.

Brazil decided to make it easier for Syrians to enter the country given the “major humanitarian crisis” afflicting the country, the “large number of refugees created by the conflict” and the “large number of Syrians seeking refuge in Brazil,” the official gazette said.

The National Committee for Refugees said the number of Syrians who have arrived in Brazil since the conflict began of the conflict rose from 17 in 2011 to 261 in August of this year.

Brazil has a Syrian immigrant community estimated at about 3 million.

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