GENEVA (Dec. 13)
Israel said here that it was prepared to offer its experience in the rescue and rehabilitation of refugees to assist in international efforts to aid the homeless refugees (“Boat People”) from Vietnam. Joel Barromi, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations here, made that statement during the special conference on refugees in Southeast Asia convened by the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees.
Barromi noted that Israel is “a country built by refugees and we are certainly sensitive to the suffering of desperate human beings in search of a home.” He recalled that Israel was instrumental in rescuing a group of Vietnamese refugees at sea and “a small community of Vietnamese refugees was admitted to our country last year and was rapidly integrated in Israel’s life.”
The envoy said that “Israel is ready to assist refugees who have reached countries of temporary asylum through the supply of medications. Our experience in resettlement and productivization of refugees could also be instrumental for the development of self-supporting projects.”
However, Barromi stressed, “This could be done only within the framework and financing of established international aid. Perhaps more could be done later as now Israel envisages a difficult transition period on the way to peace in our area. Let us hope that the new hoped for situation will enable us to give in the future larger assistance.”