German chancellor Angela Merkel stated the European Union (EU) has an obligation to accept displaced individuals from Syria and Iraq.
During a speech at a Munich Security Conference, which included Vice President Mike Pence, the German leader claimed that Islam “is not the cause of terrorism” and that combatting extremism needs the cooperation of Muslim countries.
Merkel also vowed to work closely with Vladimir Putin and Russia in the fight against Islamist terrorism in the Middle East. She said: “The joint fight against Islamic terrorism is one area where we have the same interests and we can work together.”
On the topic of Russia, Merkel stated that she plans to discuss cyber attacks and fake news with Russia. She said, “We know that Russia communicates very openly that it views hybrid warfare as a form of defense. … If I could wish for one thing, it would certainly be very good to get this topic, for example, on the agenda in the framework of NATO-Russia talks.”
Defense Sec. James Mattis issued a warning to fellow NATO countries that the U.S. will “moderate its commitment” to the alliance unless member states increase military spending and meet the 2 percent defense spending target.
Only a few days after Mattis gave the warning, Merkel announced at the conference that Germany would do “everything possible” to meet the NATO target for spending 2 percent of economic output on military defense by 2024.
When speaking about President Trump accusing Germany of profiting from a “grossly undervalued” euro, she quickly retorted there was indeed a “problem” with the currency’s valuation because the European Central Bank (ECB) was “tailoring its policies to weaker members of the eurozone and not strictly to Germany,” reports Express News.
Merkel told the conference: “We have at the moment in the eurozone, of course, a problem with the value of the euro. The ECB has a monetary policy that is not geared to Germany; rather, it is tailored to countries from Portugal to Slovenia or Slovakia.” She added, “If we still had the German D-mark, it would surely have a different value than the euro does at the moment. But this is an independent monetary policy over which I have no influence as German chancellor.”
Merkel’s remarks about Islam and refugees at the conference are in line with her open criticism of Trump’s temporary travel ban involving seven Muslim-majority countries.
Express News also claims that Merkel has come under fire for allowing up to 1.1 million migrants into the country in 2015 amid security concerns, which resulted in an outbreak of protests and social upheaval.
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