Vienna: Austria announced it was taking in 30 Iraqi Christians, following several deadly attacks on the Christian minority in the Middle East country over the past few months.
"Today, 30 Iraqi Christians are arriving in Vienna. Following the latest violent attacks in Iraq, they will be given protection in Austria," the foreign ministry announced in a statement.
The Iraqis travelled from Baghdad to Vienna, via Amman and Damascus, and will be housed over the coming months by the Austrian Integration Fund, it added.
"It is good to see that the door is now open to a safe future for these people," Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger added, although he insisted such measures should only be short-term.
"The intake by third states cannot be a solution. We must ensure the continuation of the age-old Christian community in Iraq and help it make use of its right to practice its religion freely at home."
"Our goal must be that Christians, just like other religious communities, can practice their faith around the world, freely and without repression."
Christians have been the target of a series of deadly attacks in Iraq over the past few months.
In the worst such attack on a church in Baghdad on October 31, 44 worshippers and two priests were killed by Al Qaida militants.