Germany offers to take in 5,000 more Syrian refugees, calls for Europe-wide solution

Germany says it will take in a further 5,000 refugees from Syria, doubling its current offer of shelter for people fleeing the Arab nation's civil war.

The decision was announced Friday at a meeting of officials from Germany's 16 states, which share responsibility for housing refugees.

Lower Saxony's interior minister, Boris Pistorius, said Germany couldn't look away from the humanitarian disaster in Syria.

Millions of Syrians have fled their homes, with hundreds of thousands seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

Pistorius says a Europe-wide solution is needed to ensure that each country takes in as many refugees as it reasonably can.

Germany has offered shelter to the largest number of Syrians so far. It is the European Union's most populous country and has the bloc's biggest economy.