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German Chancellor visits Egypt seeking greater cooperation on migration

Image of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) on 17 February 2017 [Michele Tantussi - Anadolu Agency]
Image of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) on 17 February 2017 [Michele Tantussi - Anadolu Agency]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Egypt today where she is due to meet with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi before travelling to Tunisia on Friday to meet with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, to discuss how to reduce the migrant flow to Europe from North Africa.

Over the last 18 months Germany has taken in over 1mn migrants but as elections approach Merkel's government are now under increasing pressure to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the country. Berlin has called on Middle Eastern states to make more effort to repatriate asylum seekers who have been rejected from Germany.

Last year Germany rejected nearly half of the 700,000 asylum requests that were made and deported 80,000 people, with those figures set to rise in 2017.

Read: Germany proposes EU relaxes rules on deporting asylum seekers

Merkel has also called on Middle Eastern countries to secure their borders and has said she is interested in helping Egypt strengthen its coastguard. To stem the flow of arrivals, said Merkel, the countries need political stability.

Rather than focusing on migration and counterterrorism, human rights organisations are urging the Chancellor to raise concerns with President Sisi about his clampdown on civil society organisations in Egypt, which has escalated dramatically since the end of 2016.

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AfricaEgyptEurope & RussiaGermanyNews
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