Obama calls on Merkel to fight against xenophobia and nationalism

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(L-r) The bishop of the German Evangelical Church Heinrich Bedford-Strohm; German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former US President Barack Obama and President of the Evangelical Church of Germany, Christina Aus der Au, are taking part in a panel discussion at the Congress of the Evangelical Church in Berlin. EFE

Former US President Barack Obama called today to fight against xenophobia, nationalism, intolerance and undemocratic tendencies with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who once again defended his refugee policy and praised the solidarity of millions of Germans.

He also stressed that humanitarian aid, conflict resolution and the fight against climate change is not “charity” but an “investment” in national welfare, because “in our world we can not isolate ourselves.”

In a mass rally at the Berlin Brandenburg Gate in Berlin during the Congress of the German Evangelical Church, Obama acknowledged that globalization, technology, inequality and phenomena such as the refugee crisis have created “fears” that must be fought.

Europe, he recalled, has never lived a period of greater peace and prosperity than in the last decades, but systems must be renewed to fight those fears and it is necessary to defend common values ​​against trends contrary to human rights, democracy Or restrictive of individual freedoms.

Recalling the efforts made during her presidency with Merkel to advance peace in Syria, where the war continues, she stressed the need to recognize that “what happens in other countries, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Has an impact on us “and demands to help those countries achieve democracy and prosperity, something to which they committed.

Merkel made reference to the refugee crisis, when 890,000 asylum seekers arrived in Germany in 2015 and underlined the solidarity and empathy shown by millions of Germans at that time.

As Obama, the head of the German government acknowledged the impossibility of achieving one hundred percent of political goals and the inevitability of certain defeats, but stressed the importance of pursuing goals that are considered valuable and recalled the history of Germany divided and reunified .

“We have to look forward,” said the chancellor, who defended his policy of receiving refugees, but also his decision to accelerate the processing of asylum applications to expel those who are not entitled to them.

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