A group of 163 Syrian refugees received a special welcome early Friday morning from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other politicians at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.
“Today, we welcome many Syrian refugees who were forced to flee their homeland because of war and conflict. Canada is doing the right thing by providing refuge for those so desperately seeking safety. This is a significant step in fulfilling our plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada in the coming months,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Among the refugees who arrived last night were Kevork Jamkossian, his wife Georgina Zires, and Madeleine, their 16-month-old daughter. The Toronto Star reported that Jamkossian expressed his gratitude to the Canadian leader.
“We really would like to thank you for all this hospitality and the warm welcome and all the staff–we felt ourselves at home and we felt ourselves highly respected,” Jamkossian said.
Canada has promised to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, and 25,000 by March. Trudeau said last month that he is “very much committed to keeping Canadians safe” while continuing to bring Syrian refugees into the country.
See more images from the group’s arrival below.