France has announced plans to accept nearly 500 Iraqi Christian refugees, many of whom are Chaldean Catholics, the Associated Press reports.
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner confirmed the plans in a joint television and radio interview on Wednesday, saying he hoped the Iraqis would be in France within weeks.
Kouchner said France would not refuse asylum to Muslims, but he said “no one” is taking in Iraqi Christians. Iraqi Christians have been targeted by Islamic extremists since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The foreign minister noted that Paris already has a community of Chaldeans. The Chaldean Catholic Church is in communion with Rome.