Merkel: Once ISIL is defeated, refugees must leave Germany

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The 1.1 million refugees who have entered Germany since last year must leave when Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is defeated, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

“We need to say to people that this is a temporary residential status and we expect that, once there is peace in Syria again, once ISIL has been defeated in Iraq, that you go back to your home country with the knowledge that you have gained,” Merkel said.

Migrants waiting to enter Germany at the German-Austrian border. /AFP
Migrants wait to enter Germany at the German-Austrian border. /AFP

Merkel’s government has come under increasing pressure to stop the wave of refugees entering Germany, particularly in the wake of the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Cologne.

Peter Altmaier, who is overseeing Germany’s handling of the refugee crisis, said the government was negotiating with some countries including Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to host refugees, including criminal refugees, until there was peace in Syria and Iraq.

”That can then mean that such refugees are not deported to their home countries – if civil war is raging there, for example – but rather to the country via which they came into the EU.”

Last week, Merkel’s coalition government backed a new law to make it easier to deport foreign nationals who commit crimes.

Merkel also called on other European countries to do more to alleviate the migrant crush “because the numbers need to be reduced even further and must not start to rise again, especially in spring.”

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