BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this weekend with a message that they should do more to help refugees.
Germany has taken in hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, straining the country's budget and increasing anti-migrant sentiment.
Senior German officials, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the two-day trip, said Berlin believes the Gulf states can take in more refugees and provide more humanitarian aid than they've done so far.
During her first stop Sunday in Jeddah, Merkel will also raise the issue of Saudi Arabia's funding for religious institutions that spread a fundamentalist version of Islam.
Saudi Arabia recently closed several institutional establishments in Germany following pressure from Berlin.