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Poland to accept 2,000 Syrian & African migrants by 2017

The move comes as part of the EU's plan to relocate refugees and mitigate the migration crisis.

Syrian refugees wait between Syria and Turkish border as Turkish soldiers block them to pass the Turkish side, on 9 June, 2015, at Akcakale, in Sanliurfa province. Picture: AFP.

WARSAW - Poland has agreed to accept 2,000 migrants from Syria and North Africa by 2017, Poland's ministry of internal affairs said on Thursday, as part of the European Union's plan to relocate refugees around the bloc and mitigate the migration crisis in its southern states.

"The deputy minister declared today during an informal meeting with his counterparts in Luxembourg that Poland would be ready to host 2.000 people by 2017," the ministry's spokeswoman Malgorzata Wozniak said.

"Our goal is to show solidarity with other EU countries, solidarity which Poland has experienced before."

Poland, along with several other central and eastern European countries, had rejected the mandatory migrants quota proposed earlier by the European Commission.

In June, EU leaders endorsed ways to counter the migration crisis in the Mediterranean by sharing 60,000 refugees and asylum seekers over the next two years, but failed to decide precise national commitments to take people in.

According to a plan to be considered at a meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday, 20,000 refugees would be resettled in Europe directly from their countries of origin or transit, such as Syrians escaping war or displaced in Lebanon or Jordan.

Another 40,000 asylum seekers already in Italy and Greece would be transferred to other EU countries.