World News

Germany stands by Britain's side after nerve agent attack - Merkel

Germany stands by Britain's side after nerve agent attack - Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged that the migrant influx of 2015 led to deep divisions in Germany and renewed a promise on Wednesday that it won't be repeated as she embarked on her fourth term.

This followed lengthy coalition negotiations after federal elections there last September.

Merkel, meanwhile, spoke of the importance of cultivating "good neighbourly relations" and underlined the significance of bilateral business ties, citing vibrant trade between Poland and Germany, which hit a record Euro 100 billion a year ago.

Germany has grown divided and angry and the tone of conversation "has become rougher", even though the country is better-off economically than at any time since reunification, the chancellor told the lower house of parliament, where the AfD now has seats for the first time.

She defended her controversial refugee policy and said it was time for Germany and Europe to do more to solve the crisis "on the EU's doorstep" in Syria.

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Merkel argued that Germany should be proud of the way it took in people fleeing war and poverty, but she also stressed that such a situation shouldn't be repeated and that her country would continue to support development in Africa and United Nations refugee programs to avoid it. But she said will "always defend it" and pointed to more hard efforts to achieve similar agreements with Libya.

He added: "I thank the Chancellor and German government for their ongoing and resolute support".

Last year, Germany saw around 186,000 asylum-seekers arrive, significantly fewer than in 2016.

Supporting eastern European leaders who have refused to take in migrants, he said that "there is no obligation to diversity ... there is also no obligation to share my state with outsiders".


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