MP George Freeman outlines plight of Syrian refugees

(L to R) Mohamed Eldaly, Dee Robinson, EDP political editor Richard Porritt, the Rt Revd Graham Jame

(L to R) Mohamed Eldaly, Dee Robinson, EDP political editor Richard Porritt, the Rt Revd Graham James and MP George Freeman speaking during the panel event at Norwich CathedralPhoto: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman and the Bishop of Norfolk have spoken out about the plight of refugees during a panel discussion entitled 'why Syria matters to Norfolk'.

The panel also included Syrian refugee Mohamed Eldaly who fled Aleppo two years ago to Norwich. Although he spoke no English when he arrived he is now studying for a masters degree in molecular medicine at UEA.

And Dee Robinson, of charity New Routes which helps refugees integrate when they arrive in the UK, also outlined her work at the event held at Norwich Cathedral.

Mr Freeman said: 'It is absolutely right that the UK invests in the Syrian region to help prevent this crisis escalating. While in Lebanon, I visited the Malala school for displaced Syrian girls and feel incredibly proud of Britain and the role that UK aid has played in educating girls to ensure that we aren't losing a generation who will be vital in the rebuilding of Syria.

'The refugees that I met all want to return home. We want to give them the opportunity to rebuild their country rather than forcing them to take the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in search of a new life. This is not only the right thing to do but in Britain's national interest to support Syria to become a stable and prosperous country.'


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The Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich said: 'While it is no longer front-page news, as the devastating war in Syria continues into its eighth year, the need to provide sanctuary to refugees grows. Norfolk has a great tradition of welcoming refugees, and it's been incredible to see the outpouring of kindness and support from Norfolk's faith groups, charities and local businesses for refugees since the crisis began. Our culture and economy benefit from embracing them into our community. We are proud to welcome refugees to Norfolk and I urge communities around the UK to do the same.'

Chief executive of the Coalition for Global Prosperity – which hosted the event – Theo Clarke said: 'I am proud that Britain is a force for good in the world. Supporting those fleeing the conflict in Syria is not only the right thing to do but in Britain's national interest.

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'The public is right to want to know that their money is being spent well, and having seen UK aid first hand, and visited multiple refugee camps myself in the last year, I know that UK aid is making a difference to millions of lives and making the world more stable, secure and prosperous for us all.'

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