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UN refugee chief urges Europe to open its borders more to help refugee crisis

An Emirati visitor watches a photo exhibition titled "Do you see what I see" about refugee children at the "Investing in the future, protecting refugee children and adolescents - Mena" conference organized by UNHCR at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. The head of the United Nations refugee agency is urging countries, particularly in Europe, to open up more to Syrians fleeing their country's civil war. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

An Emirati visitor watches a photo exhibition titled "Do you see what I see" about refugee children at the "Investing in the future, protecting refugee children and adolescents - Mena" conference organized by UNHCR at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. The head of the United Nations refugee agency is urging countries, particularly in Europe, to open up more to Syrians fleeing their country's civil war. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

The head of the United Nations refugee agency is urging countries, particularly in Europe, to open up more to Syrians fleeing their country's civil war.

Antonio Guterres says a refugee crisis across the Middle East is a global security threat. He urged more legal avenues for Syrian refugees to resettle in Europe, and avoid risking their lives with smugglers.

The U.N. estimates that nearly 2.7 million Syrians have fled abroad, mostly to neighboring countries, and another 6.5 million are internally displaced.

Guterres spoke in the United Arab Emirates at a Wednesday conference on child refugees. He said that on average, a child is forced to flee his or her country in the Arab world every minute. In attendance was Queen Rania of Jordan, which hosts some 600,000 Syrian refugees.