Merkel receives award for helping refugees

Merkel receives award for helping refugees

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has received the "Lamp of Peace" - a Catholic award for pursuing the peaceful coexistence between nations.

During the award ceremony at St. Francis' Basilica in the Italian city of Assisi, Angela Merkel said that the recent escalation of the Israeli-Iranian conflict was cause for deep concern, adding that President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Iranian nuclear deal makes the situation in the Middle East "even more tense" to solve.

The German chancellor has mentioned Syria as "one of the biggest humanitarian tragedies" of the modern world, urging politicians around the globe to make every possible effort in order to end the crisis. "This conflict has become a conflict of regional interests, a conflict of religions… and that's why today's award reminds me and many other European leaders that we should be more involved in solving this conflict," Sputnik cited her as saying.

Merkel has also warned about the rise of populism in Europe and particularly in Italy, claiming that "tolerance must be always present in the European Union."

"In this painful and most crucial period of the biblical outcome of the Syrians from their land, the German Chancellor opened the borders, showing courage and determination, without fear of going against public opinion," the priest noted, explaining the decision of the Franciscan Order.

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