Afghan boy thanks Merkel after call to resign over immigration


An Afghan migrant boy in Germany has his wish fulfilled to shake hands with Chancellor Angela Merkel, moments after she faced a call to resign because of refugee policy. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel received two contrasting reactions to her immigration policy on Monday: a tearful thank-you from an Afghan boy, and a call from a party member for her to resign.

More than a million migrants have come to Germany since the start of 2015, and an initial outpouring of helpfulness has largely given way to caution and concerns about integration and security.

At a regional conference of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), party member Ulrich Sauer urged Merkel - who said on November 20 she wanted to run for a fourth term in next year's election - to resign.

"With your truly unparalleled 'laissez-faire' refugee policy you have burdened us with something that we will not get rid of any time soon," Sauer said. "Step down now before the damage you have done becomes even greater."

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Moments later another CDU supporter, who helps refugees, introduced a young Afghan boy called Edris, whose father lifted him up so he could see Merkel.

"I would like to thank you, Mrs. Merkel," Edris said, speaking in German. "I am very, very happy."

Merkel praised him for having "learned a lot of German already" and urged him to keep practising.

When Edris said he wanted to touch the chancellor's hands, she walked over and Edris wiped away tears as they shook hands.

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 - Reuters

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