BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel is renewing a promise that the huge migrant influx of 2015 won't be repeated as she embarks on her fourth term.
Merkel acknowledged in her first speech to parliament since being sworn in last week that the debate about migration has "divided and polarized our country to this day."
She said Wednesday that Germany, which allowed in over a million migrants in 2015 and 2016, can be proud. But she added: "Of course, it's also the case that this was an exceptional humanitarian situation. And such a humanitarian situation should and must not be repeated."
Merkel said a 2016 agreement with Turkey, aimed at curbing migrant arrivals and the activities of smugglers, has many opponents, but she will "always defend it."