Poland offers asylum to Christian Syrian refugees

Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz arrives at the House of the Blackhead for an informal dinner at the start of the fourth European Union eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, Latvia, on May 21, 2015 (AFP Photo/Alain Jocard)

Warsaw (AFP) - Poland will take in 60 Syrian refugee families of the Christian faith, Warsaw said Tuesday just days after it opposed European Union plans for binding quotas on asylum seekers for its 28 member states.

"We'll welcome 60 families for a start," Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz told reporters in Warsaw.

"Today Christians who are being persecuted in a barbaric fashion in Syria deserve Christian countries like Poland to act fast to help them."

Estera, a Polish non-governmental organisation, asked the government to allow around 1,500 Syrian Christians to live in Poland.

The NGO said charities, businesses and churches could cover living costs for the refugees.

Like many EU members, Poland opposes the bloc's plan for binding quotas on asylum seekers, but is open to taking in refugees and migrants on a voluntary basis.