Poland suggests training refugees to return & 'liberate' Syria

A Syrian refugee holds his newborn baby as he arrives on a raft on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 10, 2015. © Alkis Konstantinidis
Syrian refugees pouring into Europe can be trained to form an army which can “liberate” the war-torn nation, according to Poland's new foreign minister. He said European soldiers should not be sent to fight terrorists while newly arrived Syrians “sip coffee.”

Witold Waszczykowski, who took office on Monday, told public television that “hundreds of thousands of Syrians have come to Europe recently. We can help them form an army.” He said the refugees could be gainfully employed in this way, training to “liberate their country with our help.”

The foreign minister said he is trying to avoid a situation where European soldiers are sent to fight in Syria while “hundreds of thousands of Syrians drink their coffee in [Berlin's] Unter den Linden" boulevard, or in other European cities.

He added that “tens of thousands of young men disembark from their rubber dinghies with iPad in hand and instead of asking for drink or food, they ask where they can charge their cellphones," AFP reported.

Waszczykowski's Sunday comments came just one day after he stated that Europe needed to “approach in a different fashion the Muslim community living in Europe which hates this continent and wishes to destroy it.”

On Saturday, Poland's incoming European Affairs Minister Konrad Szymanski said the country was no longer considering an EU plan to redistribute refugees among member nations, after a Syrian passport was found at the scene of one of the Paris attacks. The passport reportedly belonged to a Syrian asylum seeker who entered Europe via Greece in October.

The Paris attacks, which killed 129 people and wounded 352 others on Friday, were the worst assaults on French soil since World War II.