US, NATO responsible for refugee crisis in Europe: Austrian politician
The head of Austria's opposition Freedom Party has censured the United States and the NATO for sparking the ongoing refugee crisis that has engulfed European countries.
"The USA and NATO have destroyed Iraq and Libya with their military intervention, bombs and missiles; provided financial, logistical and military support to the opposition against President [Bashar al-] Assad in Syria, and thus made possible the destruction, chaos, suffering," and Takfirism in the region, Heinz-Christian Strache wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday.
Strache also scorned what he called US President Barack Obama's suggestion that Europe should bear the main responsibility for dealing with the influx of asylum seekers hailing from conflict-stricken parts of the globe in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
"The USA for decades has started fires in the Middle East and then has … the chutzpah to claim that responsibility for the flood of refugees unleashed lies with Europe. That's geostrategic detribalization at its finest," he wrote.
Also on Saturday, thousands of refugees streamed into Austria, hoping to continue their long journey to reach Germany after days of standoffs with Hungarian authorities in Budapest's main train station.
In the Austrian capital Vienna, large groups of asylum seekers boarded trains for Germany and arrived in Munich later in the day.
The refugees were given temporary accommodation in Munich and will be distributed to other German cities in coming days.
According to Austria's Interior Ministry, some 10,000 people were expected to reach Austria on Saturday. German police also said they expected to receive 10,000 people during the day.
In recent months, Europe has been facing a huge influx of refugees, mainly coming from war-ravaged countries like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Most of the refugees land in Italy or Greece, and then head for the wealthier countries of northern Europe by transiting through countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, like Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary.
Nearly 340,000 asylum seekers reached the borders of the European Union during the first seven months of the year, up from 123,500 during the same period in 2014, according to the bloc's border agency Frontex.
The refugee crisis has been exacerbated by the failure of European officials to take coordinated measures to help those who have fled their countries.