World Bulletin / News Desk
The number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany dropped by nearly 70 percent last year, German interior minister said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference in Berlin, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said nearly 280,000 asylum seekers came to Germany last year compared with 890,000 in 2015.
“This shows that measures taken by the federal government and the European Union have been effective in significantly reducing these numbers,” de Maiziere said.
He cited the EU-Turkey refugee agreement and the closure of Balkan route as important factors that helped in addressing the refugee flows.
Refugee influx in 2015 led to public discontent in Germany and gave rise to far-right and populist movements, which have exploited the crisis.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who suffered heavy defeat in regional elections last year, defended her decision in 2015 to open Germany’s doors to refugees who fled wars and conflicts.
She underlined Germany’s humanitarian responsibility, and argued that stopping refugee flows would only be possible by international cooperation, by improving the conditions of refugees in countries neighboring conflict zones, and by strengthening the fight against human traffickers.
The interior minister also renewed Germany’s call for a common asylum policy among EU member states to share the burden of the refugee crisis.
According to statistics announced by the Interior Ministry, over 89,000 Syrians arrived in Germany in 2016.
After Syria, the main countries of origin of asylum seekers were from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Eritrea.
Trump told The Times and Bild newspapers that Brexit would be a "great thing", and on a trade deal said he would "work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly."
Barred from traveling abroad since 2015, Raed Salah faces fresh travel ban in light of impending release from prison
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday he was sure that Britain and the US could conclude a free trade deal that was in their mutual interests after President-elect Donald Trump said he was keen for one.
Iraqi authorities typically blame such attacks on embattled ISIL extremist group
Irish nationalist party refuses to nominate leader to local parliament, forcing new elections to power-sharing body
Prevalence of slain militants’ bodies in areas recently captured from ISIL raises fears of possible spread of disease
Intervention comes after diplomatic spat over slogan-covered Serbian train which tried to enter Kosovo
An AMISOM truck rammed into a civilian minibus on outskirts of Mogadishu
Israel has also rearrested journalist Mohamed al-Qeeq, who waged 94-day hunger strike in 2015
A professor of veterinary medicine and a teenager among casualties
Kenyans will go to the polls on August 8 in what is set to be a hard-fought general election decided in large part by the core support of candidates' ethnic constituencies.
The blast happened at 5:25 am (0425 GMT) at a mosque in the staff quarters area of the University of Maiduguri and is thought to have been carried out by a teenage girl.
EU's Federica Mogheini has vowed to stand by the Iranian accord and has slammed Donald Trump regarding his comments of the deal
Hundreds of Serbs protested today in Northern Mitrovica for the Belgrade train that was stopped from entering Kosovo.
CIA Director John Brennan had some sharp criticism and warnings overnight for Donald Trump, saying the incoming president doesn’t have a “full understanding” of Russia’s power and threat to the world.
In 2013, the Syrian military used chemical weapons in an attack against rebel-controlled areas of Damascus, killing nearly 1,500 civilians, including more than 400 children.