Taoiseach travels to Berlin to discuss Brexit with German Chancellor

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Angela Merkel rebuked the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and some of her own conservatives for their anti-immigrant comments in her first major address to the Bundestag since the inauguration of her third government. She told parliament she hopes that, at the end of her fourth term, "divisions and polarization (will) have been reduced, perhaps even overcome". "Ireland can rely on us", Merkel said.

Merkel was officially re-elected the German Chancellor with the majority of lawmakers in the lower parliament backing her candidacy in a vote last week.

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He said Merkel's victory "is a testimony of your hard-work, competence and trust of the German people, qualities which are much admired in many parts of the world especially here in Africa" adding that "we greatly value your humanity and concern for refugees", and "a successful new term of office".

Merkel added that "never again must United Nations aid programs be as dramatically underfunded as two years ago", noting that Germany has increased its funding.

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Merkel was explaining the policy statement of the new government for the next four years when she made a statement about Turkish invasion in Afrin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday sharply criticized Turkey's military offensive in the northern Syrian town of Afrin and condemned ongoing attacks by Syrian forces in eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.

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Her speech was immediately dismissed by Alexander Gauland, co-leader of the AfD, who accused her of glossing over terrorism, crime...

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