The head of the International Organization for Migration says Europe must avoid viewing migrants as a "security threat" following the New Year's Eve assaults in Cologne and November's attacks in Paris.

William Lacy Swing was in Berlin Sunday at a time when Chancellor Angela Merkel faces mounting pressure over her open-door policy toward refugees. Germany registered nearly 1.1 million people as asylum seekers last year but most other European Union countries remain reluctant to take significant numbers.

Swing told The Associated Press that Merkel and Germans in general deserve "a lot of praise and credit" for their approach, "and I think one should not let the terrible incident that happened in Cologne mar what is a very good approach to the issue." The Cologne assaults were blamed largely on foreigners.