- Title: Migrants issue must not be a mission of NATO but the EU - German DefMin
- Date: 7th November 2016
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 7, 2016) (REUTERS) CONGRESS ON INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL SECURITY ISSUES BY MERKEL'S CDU (CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION) PARTY GERMAN DEFENCE MINISTER URSULA VON DER LEYEN, AND GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER THOMAS DE MAIZIERE SITTING ON THE PANEL AUDIENCE APPLAUDING (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN DEFENCE MINISTER, URSULA VON DER LEYEN, SAYING: "If I look towards the topic of migration and Africa, then I do not see a mission of the NATO there. But I see a huge task there for the European Union which has to provide a solution there, together with the African states. And for that it must better organise the many instruments which it has in the civil as well as in the military areas, combine them and implement them, in order to speak with one European voice." PANEL DISCUSSION
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2016 17:32
- Keywords: Germany Africa migrants NATO EU Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00157G351J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Germany on Monday (November 7) pledged a 61-million-euro ($67.44 million) hike in funding for U.N. relief operations in Africa, so that fewer of its people undertake perilous odysseys to Europe, which has struggled to absorb an influx of migrants since last year.
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen says the issue of migrants must not be a mission of the NATO but the European Union.
"If I look towards the topic of migration and Africa, then I so not see a mission of the NATO there," she said at a CDU (Merkel's conservative Christian democrats) congress on internal and external security issues in Berlin.
"But I see a huge task there for the European Union which has to provide a solution there, together with the African states. And for that it must better organise the many instruments which it has in the civil as well as in the military areas, combine them and implement them, in order to speak with one European voice," she added.
The extra funding lifts Germany's total contribution to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR to 298 million euros for 2016, Foreign Ministry officials said. Its total humanitarian budget for 2016 was 1.28 billion euros, up from just 105 million euros in 2012.
Countries targeted by Germany's move are ridden by chronic conflict, disastrous climate change and poverty. Many of their citizens continue to make desperate journeys through desert and by sea on rickety, overloaded boats to European shores.
Well over a million migrants, from Africa as well as the Middle East and Asia, have reached Europe since last year. Thousands have died en route. Major destination countries including Germany have struggled to cope with the human waves, and anti-immigrant sentiment and violence have spread.
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