Germany: Merkel seeks to heal divisions after migrant influx

It will be the Taoiseach's first visit to Berlin to meet the German Chancellor

Angela Merkel rebuked the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and some of her own conservatives for their anti-immigrant comments in her first major address to the Bundestag since the inauguration of her third government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made a telephone call to Dr Angela Merkel congratulating her on assuming office as the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany for the fourth successive term.

A statement by the President's Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina said congratulatory letters were sent to the German leader and Russian leader.

The president said Putin's "success for the fourth time in the election is a clear testimony of the confidence" Russians have in his leadership, urging him to "see this victory as a base to continue to promote worldwide peace and stability".

More news: Shooter dead, 2 students injured in Great Mills High shooting

"We also condemn that in the strongest terms".

Merkel, 63, outlined her new government's agenda and highlighted a polarized country facing a range of threats from trade to a stable currency. But she added: "Of course, it's also the case that this was an exceptional humanitarian situation". All Germans need to benefit from the longest economic boom since 1990, she said.

Her speech was immediately dismissed by Alexander Gauland, co-leader of the AfD, who accused her of glossing over terrorism, crime...

That a sentence as "banal" as "wir schaffen das" - with which she defended her controversial open-doors policy to refugees in 2015 - should become such a focus of attention served to highlight the faultlines in Germany society, she said.

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