Ex-German leader Angela Merkel wins UN refugee prize

Former German chancellor Angela Merkel has won the United Nations refugee agency’s prestigious Nansen Refugee Award, receiving praise for her determination to protect asylum seekers while in office.

Pointing to the more than 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers welcomed by Germany in 2015 and 2016, at the height of a migrant crisis sparked especially by the war in Syria, the UNHCR selection committee on Tuesday hailed Merkel’s “leadership, courage and compassion”.

At the time, the woman who led the German government for 16 years said the situation “put our European values to the test as seldom before. It was no more and no less than a humanitarian imperative.”

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi hailed Merkel’s determination to protect asylum seekers and to stand up for human rights, humanitarian principles and international law.

“By helping more than a million refugees to survive and rebuild, Angela Merkel displayed great moral and political courage,” he said in a statement.

Credit: Aljazeera.com


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