German Chancellor Angela Merkel consoled a crying Palestinian refugee at a youth forum Wednesday, but said Germany can’t help everyone because ‘politics is hard.’
The video, released with English subtitles by The Guardian, begins with the young girl, named Reem, telling Merkel in fluent German, “I have goals in life like everyone else. I want to go to university, that’s a goal I want to achieve.”
Reem’s family was threatened with deportation to a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon but received a temporary residency permit in time, BBC reports.
“I understand what you are saying,” Merkel said. “Nonetheless, politics is hard sometimes.” The chancellor continued, “There are thousands and thousands more in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. And if we say, ‘you can all come here,’ ‘you can all come over from Africa,’ we can’t cope with that.”
Then, the German leader noticed the girl tearing up and rushed to her side. “Oh, come here. You did so well,” Merkel said.
After a comment from a bystander, Merkel replied, “I know that this is a very wearing situation, but I just want to give her a hug now, because we don’t want to put you into such a situation, because this is hard for you, and because you have done a very good job of showing to many, many others how one can get into such a situation.”
Germany has already received more than twice as many applications for asylum this year than it did in 2014, The Guardian reports.
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