Ireland should join a very strong push at UN General Assembly level for a peace initiative in the Middle East, Tánaiste Joan Burton has said, adding in terms of finding an overall solution to the current migrant crisis this would have to be a global effort involving rich Middle Eastern states.

Ms Burton said Ireland had given millions of euro in assistance to those already in camps during the crisis, and the country may take several thousand refugees as part of a long-term effort.

She has called on "richer" Middle Eastern states, "particularly countries like Saudi Arabia" to get involved in the peace initiative.

Speaking in Dublin today, the Tánaiste said wealthy countries in the region should "strongly support this, because - at the end of the day - what the Syrian community wants is for people to be able to go back home to Syria, and for there to be peace in Syria and the region".

She said this would have to be a "global effort that will involve Europe, that will involve the United States and also in particular, the other countries in the Middle East".

Ms Burton added that Ireland had spent €12m this year in support programmes for the people already in camps in Jordan and Turkey, in terms of education for children and other supports such as water systems.

She said initially Ireland would be accepting some 2,000 or so refugees but that as family reunifications took place this would amount to a far higher figure.

She said it was "impossible" to give a definitive figure in the absence of finalised plans.