• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Kerry lauds Merkel's 'courage' on refugees
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the Munich Security Summit. Photo: Andreas Gebert/DP

Kerry lauds Merkel's 'courage' on refugees

AFP/The Local · 13 Feb 2016, 13:46

Published: 13 Feb 2016 13:46 GMT+01:00

Speaking at  the Munich Security Conference, Kerry praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for showing "great courage in helping so many who need so much" and European communities who are taking in those fleeing the violence and "rejecting intolerance and racism" within their societies. 
 
But he warned that the mass influx of refugees and other migrants into Europe spells a "near existential threat" to the continent. 
 
"We are facing the gravest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II," he said at the conference, which has been dominated by the Syrian conflict. 
   
"The United States understands the near existential nature of this threat to the politics and fabric of life in Europe," he told the meeting.
   
Europe has been deeply split by how to handle the mass influx of people fleeing war-torn Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries.
   
Germany took in 1.1 million refugees last year, while Italy and Greece have been overwhelmed as the main arrival points from the Middle East and Africa.
 
Sweden and Austria have also taken in large numbers, but many EU members, especially in the east, have been deeply reluctant to open their doors.
   
Story continues below…
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Saturday that the view in Paris is "not favourable" to Berlin's call for a permanent quota system to distribute more refugees across the EU, adding that France had already agreed to take in 30,000 refugees.
   
Kerry said about the refugee influx: "We are not saying, 'This is your problem, not ours'. This is our problem. And that is why we are joining now and enforcing a NATO mission to close off a key access route," he said of an alliance naval surveillance mission off Turkey and Greece.
   
"And we will join you in other ways to stem this tide because of the potential of its damage to the fabric of a united Europe," he added. 

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
International or German state school - which one's best?
Photo: DPA

Deciding between sending your child to a German state school or a private international school isn't easy. Max Bringmann has experienced both.

13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make

Sure-fire ways to get off on the wrong foot in the German language.

Captain Schweinsteiger retires from international football
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

He has won a World Cup with Die Mannschaft and captained them at Euro 2016. On Friday Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from the national team.

Woman accused of false rape allegation at Cologne NYE
Cologne on New Year's Eve. Photo: DPA

According to latest reports, the woman was not even in Cologne on New Year's Eve.

Govt argues over using army inside Germany
Photo: DPA

After a string of violent rampages in one week, an argument has broken out in Germany’s coalition government over whether the army (Bundeswehr) should be deployed inside the country.

Analysis
How Merkel reacts to crises better than other leaders
Photo: DPA

It is of critical importance for a country how a leader chooses to react to an act of terrorism. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cool head sets an example for the rest of the country.

Turkey demands Germany extradite Gülen supporters
Fethullah Gülen. Photo: DPA

Ankara called on Germany on Thursday to extradite supporters of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of plotting a failed coup earlier this month.

German police raid 'hotbed of radicalization'
Police entering one of the residences. Photo: DPA

A mosque and eight residences were searched.

Germany boasts Europe's best value beaches
This beach just got named Europe's cheapest. Do you know where it is? Photo: DPA

Forget Mallorca or the Costa del Sol - the best beach bargains can be found in Germany. But where?

After rampages, Merkel says again: Wir schaffen das
Photo: DPA

Speaking for the first time after a Syrian refugee blew himself up in southern Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her commitment to helping refugees on Thursday.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
10,747
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd