World

Merkel defends frank talk that brought refugee to tears; finds support from girl herself

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for an interview at the TV  studios of German public broadcaster ARD  in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for an interview at the TV studios of German public broadcaster ARD in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, talks with journalists Reinald Becker, right, and Tina Hassel, hidden, prior to  an  interview at the studios of German public broadcaster ARD  in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, talks with journalists Reinald Becker, right, and Tina Hassel, hidden, prior to an interview at the studios of German public broadcaster ARD in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, July 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

Chancellor Angela Merkel is defending her frank talk with a Palestinian refugee that brought the girl to tears — and has found an ally in the 14-year-old herself.

Merkel brought Reem Sahwil to tears Friday after the girl said her family had been waiting four years for permanent residence status. Merkel told her Germany can't accommodate everyone, but outlined her government's desire to speed up asylum applications.

On Sunday, Merkel said on ARD television it wouldn't have been fair to other refugees if she'd said "because you've just met the chancellor, your fate will be resolved faster."

Sahwil told Bild newspaper even though she cried, she appreciated the answer.

She says, "I would have been much more offended if she were not honest. I like honest people like Ms. Merkel."