Merkel Opposes Linking Refugees With Terrorists

Merkel Opposes Linking Refugees With TerroristsMerkel Opposes Linking Refugees With Terrorists

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed back against critics of her open-door policy on refugees, saying those fleeing war zones should not have to bear the blame for the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Merkel’s comments during a Group of 20 Summit in the Turkish coastal resort of Antalya on Sunday were a rebuff to domestic opponents who cited the slaughter in the French capital as evidence that the chancellor must reverse her stance and turn people away.

A statement by the Greek authorities that raised the possibility one of the assailants may have entered Europe posing as a refugee raised the pressure on Merkel still further, Bloomberg reported.

Merkel hit back in her only public comments on the first day of the two-day summit of world leaders that’s taking place in the shadow of the Paris attacks. She called for a swift investigation into the motives behind the terrorist carnage to “find out who the perpetrators were, who’s behind them and what connections there were.”

“We owe it to the victims and their relatives, but also for the sake of our own security,” Merkel told reporters. “And we owe it to all the innocent refugees who are fleeing from war and terrorism.”

Merkel said she would discuss efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin late Sunday, then again in a one-on-one meeting with US President Barack Obama on Monday, as she steps up her international diplomacy aimed at stemming the flow of refugees to Europe.

In Germany, some among her political allies stoked further tension over the projected arrival of some one million refugees this year alone. Friday night’s attack in Paris “changes everything”, Markus Soeder, a member of the Bavarian state government, said in a Twitter post.

Merkel said that G-20 leaders, who will release a statement on Monday on fighting the terrorist threat, were sending a “decisive signal” that all forms of terrorism will be defeated.

“A key element is resolving the war in Syria peacefully and as soon as possible,” she said.

“We all know that time is running out to return hope to the millions of refugees. It’s also completely clear—and that’s borne out by the discussions here—that we have to tackle the root cause of where the refugees are coming from.”