German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a meeting with businessmen also attended by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, at the Interactive Museum of Economics, in Mexico City, June 10, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in Mexico, says walls will not resolve migration issues, indirectly criticizing United States President Donald Trump’s plans to set up a wall on the border with the Latin American country.
Trump has pledged to build a massive wall on the US border with Mexico to keep illegal Mexican immigrants from entering the US.
“Putting up walls and cutting oneself off will not solve the problem,” Merkel said in Mexico City on Saturday, without mentioning Trump. “Obviously the main reason for people leaving must be addressed.”
She said that history had shown that only when neighbors got on well with each other did migration pressures lessen.
“It’s an issue you can study well in the history of China with the [Great] Wall of China; you can study it in the history of the Roman Empire. Essentially, only when great empires have managed to forge sensible relationships with their neighbors and to manage migration, has it been a success,” she said.
Simply improving border facilities won’t resolve the problem, she said, adding that the key to success was to improve living standards in afflicted areas.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and US President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, on May 26, 2017 (photo by AFP)
The wall Trump has pledged to build on the US-Mexican border has sparked anger throughout Mexico, plunging US-Mexican relations to their lowest point in years.
Merkel, an experienced politician, has been skeptical of the businessman-turned-president Trump. Recently, she said the US under Trump was no longer a reliable ally for Europe.
Germany itself has been host to more than one million refugees in the past years. Most of those refugees came from conflict zones in the Middle East and North Africa.

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