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Merkel defends 'refugees welcome' policy

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-30 09:08

Merkel defends 'refugees welcome' policy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, top candidate for the upcoming general elections of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU), greets supporters during an election campaign rally in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany, August 29, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

BERLIN - German chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has defended her position and welcome policy for refugees in a yearly summer interview in Berlin on Tuesday.

Merkel announced her intention to combat illegal refugee trafficking, as well as the causes for migration.

The steps she demanded against organized traffickers, more development aid as well as humanitarian housing in Libya were of the "same spirit" as the aid for refugees in the summer of 2015.

Merkel said that the fact that she had decided to keep the border open for refugees was an important and correct decision in an "exceptional humanitarian situation."

According to Merkel, measures are needed to find long-term solutions and sustainable structures. These measures had to be "guided by the fact that we cannot simply isolate ourselves and simply continue on," the chancellor emphasized.

Europeans could only live in prosperity and security "if we look at the bigger picture and deal with our neighborhood and their economic development," she added.

Merkel reiterated her criticism of EU countries, which opposed the "fair distribution" of refugees in Europe.

"It cannot be that Europe only shows solidarity when it helps some of them," she said, adding that countries like Italy and Greece, where most refugees and illegal migrants are currently arriving, should not be left alone.

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