Europe

Italy welcomes 41 Syrian refugees, seeks bridges not walls

  • Sima, a 7-year-old Syrian refugee from Homs, plays with a balloon as her mother M'aha Aleweir holds her 3-year old sister Sidra upon their arrival at Rome's Fiumicino international airport, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Italian government and church officials have welcomed 41 Syrian refugees at Rome's airport, saying they wanted to show solidarity at a time when the United States is sending refugees away and building walls to keep them out. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Sima, a 7-year-old Syrian refugee from Homs, plays with a balloon as her mother M'aha Aleweir holds her 3-year old sister Sidra upon their arrival at Rome's Fiumicino international airport, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Italian government and church officials have welcomed 41 Syrian refugees at Rome's airport, saying they wanted to show solidarity at a time when the United States is sending refugees away and building walls to keep them out. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • Haya, a 13 year-old Syrian refugee from Homs, plays with balloons upon her arrival at Rome's Fiumicino international airport, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Italian government and church officials have welcomed 41 Syrian refugees at Rome's airport, saying they wanted to show solidarity at a time when the United States is sending refugees away and building walls to keep them out. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Haya, a 13 year-old Syrian refugee from Homs, plays with balloons upon her arrival at Rome's Fiumicino international airport, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Italian government and church officials have welcomed 41 Syrian refugees at Rome's airport, saying they wanted to show solidarity at a time when the United States is sending refugees away and building walls to keep them out. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • Syrian refugees sit during an official welcome ceremony at Rome's Fiumicino international airport, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Italian government and church officials have welcomed 41 Syrian refugees at Rome's airport, saying they wanted to show solidarity at a time when the United States is sending refugees away and building walls to keep them out. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Syrian refugees sit during an official welcome ceremony at Rome's Fiumicino international airport, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Italian government and church officials have welcomed 41 Syrian refugees at Rome's airport, saying they wanted to show solidarity at a time when the United States is sending refugees away and building walls to keep them out. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

Italian government and church officials have welcomed 41 Syrian refugees at Rome's airport, saying they wanted to show solidarity at a time when the U.S. is sending refugees away and building walls to keep them out.

The Syrian children were given balloons as they arrived, and a colorful sign reading "Welcome to Italy" greeted the latest group of refugees to be resettled in the country via an agreement between the government and a Catholic-Protestant collaboration.

Italy's deputy foreign minister, Mario Giro, greeted the Syrians and insisted on the obligation to welcome those fleeing war. He said walls, as proposed by the Trump administration, have been shown not to work. What works, he said, is the organized acceptance and distribution of refugees, coupled with economic accords with countries of origin.