Merkel refuses cap on number of refugees

Berlin, Dec 14 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated on Sunday her refusal to an upper limit on the number of refugees Germany will admit, saying European and international measures are needed to solve the current refugee crisis.

She made the remarks in an interview with German television broadcaster ARD, ahead of a two-day party congress of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Merkel said she and other senior Christian Democrats agreed Sunday in a key resolution on refugees that her party was determined to “noticeably reduce the number of people who come to Germany”, Xinhua news agency reported.

The chancellor made clear that an upper limit on the number of refugees was not included in the resolution to be submitted to delegates on the upcoming party conference, adding that a reduction of the refugee influx could not be realised through “unilateral national measures alone”.

“Of course we need to implement our national measures. But first of all we should think in European and international terms,” she noted, referring to efforts such as combating the root causes for fleeing, pushing for a political solution to the Syrian conflict, enhancing the cooperation with Turkey, fighting against human traffickers and improving the conditions of refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan.

Merkel is facing resistance from her own party over her refugee policy as the CDU gathers for its annual conference. Critics believed that her current policy was inappropriate and demanded a cap on the number of refugees entering Germany.

The conference, which opens on Monday in the southern German city of Karlsruhe, is expected to be dominated by the refugee issue and regarded as an indicator of how much support the party leader has among her own base.

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