22 March, 2018
German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a one-day visit to Warsaw on Monday for talks with the Polish prime minister and president.
Merkel, meanwhile, spoke of the importance of cultivating "good neighbourly relations" and underlined the significance of bilateral business ties, citing vibrant trade between Poland and Germany, which hit a record Euro 100 billion past year. She told parliament she hopes that, at the end of her fourth term, "divisions and polarization (will) have been reduced, perhaps even overcome".
Merkel did not mention the AfD by name, instead referring to "the election results of September 2017". She set out promises such as achieving full employment by 2025 and strengthening the pension system. It is now the biggest opposition party.
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Mr Modi lauded the strong leadership provided by Chancellor Merkel to Germany, and the pivotal role played by Germany in European affairs during her leadership tenure, a release from the Prime Minister's office said. "And such an exceptional situation should and must not be repeated". She acknowledged, however, that some Germans find that hard to accept. But she was unapologetic about her response, arguing that the government has taken action to prevent a repeat. Merkel also said she will "always defend" a 2016 agreement with Turkey, aimed at curbing migrant arrivals and the activities of smugglers, although the deal has many opponents. He said in an interview with the tabloid Bild last week that "Islam does not belong to Germany".
He added: "I thank the Chancellor and German government for their ongoing and resolute support".
Her speech was immediately dismissed by Alexander Gauland, co-leader of the AfD, who accused her of glossing over terrorism, crime...