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Jeremy Corbyn visits refugee camp in Jordan, calls on UK to do more

UK Labour leader visits Zaatari camp, which houses 83,000 mostly Syrian refugees, and calls for change to UK bombing policy
UK's Jeremy Corbyn tours Zaatari refugee camp, meets UN officials, and talks with asylum seekers on 22 June 2018 (Reuters)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan on Friday, where he said the UK must do more to bring an end to the war in Syria and that London should join forces with the European Union for refugee resettlements.

"Whatever the outcome of Brexit, I think we should be part of a European-wide approach to this," he told Sky News.

"We have already done good work in saving life in the Mediterranean, but what we haven't done is brought in the unaccompanied child minors that Lord Dubs – Alf Dubs – proposed in his amendment, which is now law," he said.

Corbyn toured Zaatari camp, met with UN officials and spoke with refugees. 

"Politically we need to be doing a great deal more to try and bring about a ceasefire and an end to the war in Syria," Corbyn said.

"The abuse of human rights, the destruction of lives, the destruction of society, is appalling by any stretch of the imagination. And refugees are now in all neighbouring countries and of course in Turkey, and in Greece and across Europe." 

The Labour leader also said the UK should end its "bomb first, talk later" policy.

With a population of 83,000 refugees, Zaatari is Jordan's biggest refugee camp. It houses mostly Syrians who have fled the civil war.

Jordan is currently home to more than 580,000 UN-registered Syrian refugees although the true number of refugees is much higher.

Only 20 percent of them stay in camps, while the remaining 80 percent live in urban areas throughout the country, according to the UN refugee agency.

While in Jordan, Corbyn also slammed US President Donald Trump's visit to the UK planned for next month, saying that Trump shouldn't be allowed to visit.

"Donald Trump needs to understand that declaring a trade war by putting tariffs on aluminium and steel and then building up a series of tit-for-tat series of retaliations, in which the US retreats in on itself and starts a trade war with the rest of the world, is going in a very bad and dangerous direction," Corbyn said.