Geneva: United Nations (UN) on Tuesday said that the number of refugees who are coming to Europe after crossing the Mediterranean could reach a total of 850,000 by the end of 2016.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in its appeal document said that a total of 400,000 people are expected to seek asylum in 2015 out of which around 366,000 people have already landed in Europe. Another 450,000 people or more may land in Europe in 2016, according to a report in the Times of India.
The UNHCR added that many of the refugees are from Syria who are fleeing because of the fighting in the country and the deteriorating conditions for refugees in the neighboring countries.
Calling for a more cohesive asylum policy to accept the coming refugees, the UNHCR has appealed for an increase in the number of ways in which refugees are legally accepted into various European countries.
The executive commission of the European Union (EU) is likely to start a program this week to redistribute around 160,000 refugees who land in Italy, Hungary, and Greece, as per TOI report.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged Donald Trump not to walk away from an international deal designed to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
Speaking to the BBC, Guterres said there was a real risk of war if the 2015 agreement was not preserved.
Trump has been a strong critic of the accord, in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.
The US president has until May 12, to decide whether to stick with the deal.
Guterres told the BBC that the Iran agreement was an “important diplomatic victory” and should be maintained.
“We should not scrap it unless we have a good alternative,” he said, adding: “We face dangerous times.”
It comes just days after Israel revealed “secret nuclear files” accusing Iran of having covertly pursued nuclear weapons.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the files provided proof that the Obama-era nuclear deal was “built on lies”, the BBc report said.
European allies France, the UK and Germany meanwhile have agreed that pursuing the current nuclear deal with Iran is the best way to stop it developing nuclear weapons.
In 2015, Tehran signed a deal with the US, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain agreeing to limit its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
Under the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran is committed to slashing the number of its centrifuges, which are machines used to enrich uranium.
It is also meant to cut its stockpile of enriched uranium drastically and not enrich remaining uranium to the level needed to produce nuclear weapons.
Trump has frequently voiced his opposition to the “insane” deal, which he has described as the “worst ever”. Unless the European signatories to the deal and the US Congress addressed his concerns, he plans to withdraw on the next deadline for waiving sanctions.
Trump is unhappy that the deal only limited Iran’s nuclear activities for a fixed period (till 2025) and had failed to stop the development of ballistic missiles.