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Executive Summary for February 22nd

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including Merkel warning E.U. partners on migration and solidarity, an interview with an Eritrean sent to Uganda from Israel, and the U.K. says it has taken in more than 10,000 Syrian refugees.

Published on Feb. 22, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Merkel Warns Europe on Migration: Solidarity Is Not A One-Way Street

Speaking to the European Parliament, German chancellor Angela Merkel has warned European partners that when it comes to dealing with migrants, solidarity is not a “one-way street,” reports AP. She is pushing for increased cooperation.

Germany took in a far greater number of asylum seekers than its E.U. partners, and the perception of an unfair burden has upended German politics.

Merkel’s address was seen to be aimed at Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic who are being sued by the European Commission for refusing to taking in their share of asylum seekers.

“It is up to all member states never to lose sight of their responsibility for the whole,” she said. “And that, of course, includes safeguarding our common European values on which the European Union was established.”

E.U. leaders need to agree upon a fair asylum seeker quota system, Merkel said, adding that the goal is to have “significant steps” concluded by June. The German leader said that negotiations to that end would require “tenacity and patience.”

‘They Force You to Deport Yourself,’ Says Eritrean Sent From Israel to Uganda

An Eritrean deported from Israel has talked about his departure and life in Uganda. Yohannes Tesfagabr, who left behind his life in Tel Aviv, said they “force you to deport yourself.”

The 29-year-old sous chef left Israel in November after being told to either accept $3,500 and a plane ticket or he would be sent to jail. Thousands of Africans in Israel are facing the same April 1 deadline.

Tesfagabr said his group was not taken through official immigration on arrival in Uganda. The group were taken to a hotel in the capital, Kampala, where their passports were taken. Later they were then ejected from the hotel.

“My Hebrew is four times better than my English,” he told AP.

An Israeli MP traveled to Rwanda to follow up on the fate of those deported and found next to no provision for them in their destination country. He said the arrangement “does not ensure the safety and well-being of the refugees.”

Rwanda and Uganda deny having a secret deal with Israel.

Britain Has Taken in More Than 10,000 Syrians, Says Minister

The U.K. has taken in 10,538 Syrian refugees, the government said. On a visit to Lebanon, Amber Rudd, the U.K. home office minister, said the country would reach its 20,000 target by 2020.

Rudd visited Majdal Anjar, a town on Lebanon’s border with Syria, which has taken in 25,000 Syrian refugees.

“The number of Syrian refugees exceeds 25,000 while the town population is 22,000,” Majdal Anjar’s mayor complained.

The U.K. has agreed to take in a limited number of Syrian refugees from countries in the region. But London has prioritized aid contributions to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, arguing that its money is more helpful than its capacity to resettle.

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