Merkel visits Egypt, Tunisia to talk about migration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Egypt and Tunisia this week with migration at the top of her agenda as she meets her counterparts in the North African nations.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday Germany is interested in helping Egypt strengthen its coastguard and clamp down on illegal trafficking across the Mediterranean, which leads to thousands of deaths each year.

Germany also intends to work together more closely with the two countries to curtail overall migration from Africa to Europe.

The German government will also talk about both Egypt and Tunisia taking back asylum-seekers who have been rejected in Germany.

Merkel will visit Egypt on Thursday and Tunisia on Friday. Beyond meeting the two countries' leaders, she will talk to religious leaders and members of civil society.