Jordan calls for conference on Iraqi refugees

Jordan on Monday called for an international conference to discuss the growing influx of Iraqis fleeing violence to neighboring Arab countries. Jordan and other Mideast countries have expressed concerns over the number of refugees streaming into their countries, blaming it partly on inadequate resources to accommodate them. The Iraqi "presence in Jordan is a burden - although I don't like to use that word, it's a fact - on the natural resources, but they are welcome here," said chief Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Judeh. The government estimates there are between 350,000 to 450,000 Iraqis in Jordan, but acknowledges there could be up to 1 million, Judeh said. The UN refugee agency has put the number at 700,000.