Germany's Merkel voices support for UN migration pact

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday voiced her support for a UN migration pact, saying that only through international cooperation can a solution be found to global challenges.

Addressing lawmakers in the parliament during a debate on annual budget, Merkel sharply criticized the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) for its opposition to the UN Global Compact for Migration.

“We have experienced that the issues of displacement and migration can only be addressed in an international context, not any country can address this problem alone,” Merkel said, referring to the Syrian refugee flows since 2015.

She praised the success of the EU-Turkey refugee agreement in countering irregular migration and improving the living conditions of Syrian refugees.

Merkel underlined that the UN Global Compact for Migration would not be legally binding, but would set out the guidelines for states on the issues of migration and asylum.

“With this pact, we are searching for the right answers. We are at the beginning, we are trying to find together international solutions to the global problems,” she said.

UN’s landmark agreement on migration was concluded in July, after two-year long discussions among the member states.

The legally non-binding agreement, which aims at making the migration more orderly and safer around the world, will be formally adopted at an international conference in Morocco on Dec. 10-11.

Europe’s populist governments in Austria, Poland and Hungary, and several other countries including the U.S., Israel and Australia have recently announced that they would not sign onto the pact, claiming that it could undermine their sovereignty and immigration policies.

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