Germany to help fund job training, improve refugee facilities in Egypt

"Regarding the euro zone, we have very positive data". Good ties are "linked to respect for the rule of law and this isn't guaranteed right now in Turkey", she said.

"At that time, Germany had acted in a very hard and humane manner", she added.

She said that the decision was "not the basis for a long-term strategy".

"I am convinced of this, and at the same time I say that the year 2015 should not be repeated, it was an emergency situation that we should never experience again, even the refugees".

Martin Schulz, the leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and candidate for the post of German chancellor, has vowed to ask Washington to withdraw U.S. nuclear weapons from German territory if he defeats Chancellor Angela Merkel in federal elections next month. She also raised the prospect of agreeing legal contingents of African migrants who want to study or work in Europe.

Merkel launched an uncharacteristically blunt attack on the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party, or AfD. Yücel, a German-Turkish dual national, was arrested on February 27 on charges of "making propaganda in support of a terrorist organization" and "inciting the public to violence", after first being detained on February 14.

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On the future of the EU, the German leader said she backed plans to turn the European Stability Mechanism crisis fund into a full-blown European Monetary Fund.

The arrests have contributed to worsening relations between Berlin and Ankara, which have also been strained by other issues.

'Taking holidays in the country in which you are being persecuted is not on, ' she said in an interview with Welt am Sonntag, adding that it could be a reason to re-examine an asylum case.

She said: "We're a democracy and everyone can freely express themselves in public the way they want". Her mother had migrated from Ghana to Germany.

Ms Merkel, who has avoided mentioning Mr Schulz by name during campaign appearances, acknowledged her opponent during the ZDF interview.

As politically troublesome as the refugee issue has been for Merkel, her main opponent, Martin Schulz of the far-left Social Democratic Party, has been unable to take advantage.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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