Angela Merkel: Syrian Refugees Expected to Go Back Home After War Ends

January 30, 2016 Updated: January 31, 2016
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ANKARA, Turkey—German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she expects many of the refugees who have flooded into Germany from war-torn countries like Syria to eventually return home once the hostilities end.

Speaking Saturday to members of her Christian Democratic Party in the northeastern city of Neubrandenburg, Merkel said that many of the 1.1 million asylum seekers who entered Germany last year would return home, as was Germany’s experience with refugees from the Balkans did in the 1990s, the dpa news agency reported.

She says “we expect that if there’s peace again in Syria, if IS [the Islamic State] is defeated in Iraq, then they will return to their homelands with the knowledge they have gained here.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel says new measures being adopted by her government should help slow the flow of migrants into Germany, but that a European-wide solution is still needed.

Merkel told CDU party members at a meeting in the northeastern city of Neubrandenburg on Saturday that such a solution must include the reliable protection of the European Union’s external borders and a fair distribution of asylum seekers among its member states, the dpa news agency reported.

She rejected calls by some to restrict Europe’s so-called Schengen area of passport-free travel, saying “the price for a country to fully seal itself off, if that’s even possible, would mean a decline in the economic dynamic for a nation like Germany.”

Merkel’s coalition reached a deal Thursday to streamline handling the migrant influx.