Spain Takes on Migrant Ship Rejected by Italy, Malta

A rescue ship run by a European charity is headed to Spain with more than 600 migrants on board after Italy and Malta refused to accept the vessel. Italy’s new government, which campaigned on halting the flow of migrants into the country, is starting to make good on his promises.

The European Union and the United Nations refugee agency had called for a swift end to a political standoff that left 629 migrants on the rescue ship Aquarius drifting at sea. Spain has now offered to take the ship in after Italy and Malta refused.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez ordered authorities to allow the Aquarius to dock in the eastern port of Valencia. Sanchez’s office issued a statement saying “it is our duty to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and offer a secure port for these people.”

 

More than 100 unaccompanied minors and a number of pregnant women are on board the Aquarius. Six different rescue operations took place over the weekend off the coast of Libya, coordinated by the Italian coast guard. Medical workers had said food on board the ship was going to run out by Monday night.

Italy’s new deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, had said the country would not allow the ship to dock in any of its ports. Italy asked Malta to provide assistance to Aquarius because it was the nearest available port. But the small island nation’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, refused.

 

Salvini, who also serves as Italy’s interior minister, has promised to change immigration policies in Italy, saying the new Italian government’s efforts will be aimed at guaranteeing peaceful lives for Africans in Africa and for Italians in their own country.

 

On a recent visit to the southern port of Pozzallo where many migrants have been arriving, Salvini said Italy is a member of international organizations such as the U.N. and NATO. And so, he asked why is it that in the Mediterranean and in North Africa there is not more concrete intervention to defend security?

 

More than 600,000 migrants have reached Italy by boat from Africa in the past five years. The new Italian government led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has made it clear that the EU cannot continue to leave Italy to deal with the migrant crisis on its own.

Trump Says Friends, Enemies Cannot Take Advantage of US on Trade

President Donald Trump tweeted out more criticism of U.S. trade partners Monday, including allies in Europe and Canada, adding to his declarations that the United States will no longer tolerate what he has called “trade abuse.”

“Sorry, we cannot let our friends, or enemies, take advantage of us on Trade anymore. We must put the American worker first!” Trump said.

That was part of a string of messages in which the president asserted the United States “pays close the the entire cost of NATO” while other member countries take advantage of the U.S. on trade.

“We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade,” he said. “Change is coming!”

NATO members, in general, make financial contributions based on their economic output, and as a result of being the world’s biggest economy the United States does contribute a larger amount than other nations.

Trump tweeted from Singapore where he traveled for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after attending a meeting of G-7 leaders in Canada.

After Trump left, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Trump’s decision to impose invoke national security grounds to impose new tariffs on aluminum and steel “insulting” because of the long history of Canadian troops supporting the United States in conflicts.

Trudeau also pledged to respond with equivalent tariffs on U.S. goods beginning July 1.

While airborne, Trump ordered U.S. officials to refuse to sign the traditional end-of-summit communique and tweeted criticism of what he said were Trudeau’s “false statements at his news conference.”

“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!” he said.

Trump followed Monday with another tweet saying, “Fair Trade is no to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal,” and that Trudeau “acts hurt when called out.”

Trudeau did not respond to the U.S. attacks, instead declaring the summit a success.

“The historic and important agreement we all reached” at the summit “will help make our economies stronger and people more prosperous, protect our democracies, safeguard our environment, and protect women and girls’ rights around the world. That’s what matters,” Trudeau said.

But foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said, “Canada does not believe that ad hominem attacks are a particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries.”

The G-7 summit communique called for working together to stimulate economic growth “that benefits everyone,” and highlighted a commitment to a “rules-based international trading system” and “fight protectionism.” The document also supports strong health systems, advancing gender equality, ending sexual and gender-based violence, as well as efforts to create a more peaceful world and combat climate change.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told ARD television that Trump’s withdrawal from the communique through a tweet is “sobering and a bit depressing.”

French President Emmanuel Macron attacked Trump’s stance, saying, “International cooperation cannot be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks.” He called Trump’s refusal to sign the communique a display of “incoherence and inconsistency.”

U.S. Republican Sen. John McCain, a vocal Trump critic, offered support for the other six world leaders at the Canadian summit.

“To our allies,” McCain tweeted, “bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.” 

Trudeau and May also bucked Trump on another high-profile issue: Russia. Trump suggested Russia rejoin the group after being pushed out in 2014 when it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Trudeau said he is “not remotely interested” in having Russia rejoin the group.

May added, “We have agreed to stand ready to take further restrictive measures against Russia if necessary.”

Swiss Voters Reject Campaign to Radically Alter Banking System

A radical plan to transform Switzerland’s financial landscape by barring commercial banks from electronically creating money when they lend was resoundingly rejected by Swiss voters on Sunday.

More than three quarters rejected the so-called Sovereign Money initiative, according to the official result released from the Swiss government.

All of the country’s self-governing cantons also voted against in the poll, which needed a majority from Switzerland’s 26 cantons as well as a simple majority of voters to succeed. Concerns about the potential risks to the Swiss economy by introducing a “vollgeld” or “real money” system appear to have convinced voters to reject the proposals.

The Swiss government, which had opposed the plan because of the uncertainties it would unleash, said it was pleased with the result.

“Implementing such a scheme, which would have raised so many questions, would have been hardly possible without years of trouble,” Finance Minister Ueli Maurer said.

“Swiss people in general don’t like taking risks, and …the people have seen no benefit from these proposals. You can also see that our banking system functions…The suspicions against the banks have been largely eliminated.”

The vote, called under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy after gathering more than 100,000 signatures, wanted to make the Swiss National Bank (SNB) the only body authorized to create money in the country.

Contrary to common belief, most money in the world is not produced by central banks but is instead created electronically by commercial lenders when they lend beyond the deposits they hold for savers.

This arrangement, underpinned by the belief that most debts will be repaid, has been a cornerstone of the global capitalist system but opponents say it is unstable because the new money created could exceed the rate of economic growth, which could lead to inflationary asset bubbles.

If approved, Switzerland, famed for its banking industry, would have been the first country in the world to introduce such a scheme, leading opponents to brand the plan a dangerous experiment which would damage the economy.

The plan could have had repercussions beyond Switzerland’s borders by removing a practice which underpins most of the world’s bank lending.

Support for reform had grown in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis, with campaigners saying their ideas would make the financial system more secure and protect people’s savings from bank runs.

As well as the Swiss government, opposition came from the Swiss National Bank and business groups.

“We are pleased, this would have been an extremely damaging initiative,” said Heinz Karrer, president of business lobby Economiesuisse.

The SNB acknowledged the result, saying adoption of the initiative would have made it much harder to control inflation in Switzerland.

“With conditions now remaining unchanged, the SNB will be able to maintain its monetary policy focus on ensuring price stability, which makes an important contribution to our country’s prosperity,” it said in a statement.

Campaigners – a group of academics, former bankers and scientists – said they would continue to work on raising their concerns.

“The discussion is only just getting started,” said campaign spokesman Raffael Wuethrich. “Our goal is that money should be in the service of the people and not the other way around and we will continue to work on it.” 

Swiss Voters Reject Chance to Host 2026 Winter Olympics

There will be no Winter Olympics in Switzerland in 2026.

Voters in the southern canton of Valais rejected a proposal Sunday to bid on the games that would have been centered in the Swiss city of Sion.

Voters apparently balked at the high cost the canton would have had to put up to host the games — an estimated $101 million.

Supporters of the bid say it was a “reasonable and sustainable” project and that the games would have brought billions into the local economy.

Two other Swiss regions had also rejected hosting the games in earlier referendums.

With Switzerland out of the running, the International Olympic Committee will likely choose between Turin and Milan, Italy; Graz, Austria; Erzurum, Turkey; Calgary in Alberta, Canada; Sapporo, Japan; and Stockholm to host the 2026 Winter Games.

A decision is expected in September 2019.

White House Adviser: ‘Special Place in Hell’ for Canada’s Trudeau

The White House is assailing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying he “stabbed us in the back” and undermined U.S. President Donald Trump after Trump left the G-7 economic summit early for Singapore.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News, “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door … that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.”

Navarro added, “To my friends in Canada, that was one of the worst political miscalculations of the Canadian leader in modern Canadian history. All Justin Trudeau had to do was take the win.”

Trump left the Group of Seven summit in Quebec early Saturday to head to Singapore for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

After Trump left, Trudeau called new U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel “insulting.”

“We leave and then he pulls this sophomoric political stunt for domestic consideration,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNN. “You just don’t behave that way. It’s a betrayal.”

Kudlow said Trump negotiated the communique in “good faith,” and had called at the summit for “no tariffs, free trade.”

But Kudlow said Trump “gets up in a plane and then … Trudeau stabs him.” He said Trump “is not going to let a Canadian prime minister push him around.”

U.S. wouldn’t sign communique

While airborne, Trump ordered U.S. officials to refuse to sign the traditional end-of-summit communique.

“Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers, and companies, I have instructed our U.S. reps not to endorse the communique as we look at tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. market!” Trump said on Twitter.

“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!” he added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told ARD television that Trump’s withdrawal from the communique through a tweet is “sobering and a bit depressing.”

French President Emmanuel Macron attacked Trump’s stance, saying, “International cooperation cannot be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks.” He called Trump’s refusal to sign the communique a display of “incoherence and inconsistency.”  

Trudeau did not respond to the U.S. attacks, instead declaring the summit a success.

“The historic and important agreement we all reached” at the summit “will help make our economies stronger and people more prosperous, protect our democracies, safeguard our environment, and protect women and girls’ rights around the world. That’s what matters,” Trudeau said.

But foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said, “Canada does not believe that ad hominem attacks are a particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries.”

Canada refuses to budge

Trudeau closed the annual G-7 summit Saturday in Canada by refusing to budge on positions that place him at odds with Trump, particularly the new steel and aluminum tariffs that have drawn the ire of Canada and the European Union.

He said in closing remarks that Canada will proceed with retaliatory measures on U.S. goods as early as July 1.

“I highlighted directly to the president that Canadians did not take it lightly that the United States has moved forward with significant tariffs,” Trudeau said following the summit. “Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we will also not be pushed around.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May echoed Trudeau, pledging to retaliate for tariffs on EU goods.

“The loss of trade through tariffs undermines competition, reduces productivity, removes the incentive to innovate and ultimately makes everyone poorer,” May said. “And in response, the EU will impose countermeasures.”

U.S. Republican Sen. John McCain, a vocal Trump critic, offered support for the other six world leaders at the Canadian summit.

“To our allies,” McCain tweeted, “bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.”

Trudeau and May also bucked Trump on another high-profile issue: Russia. Trump suggested Russia rejoin the group after being pushed out in 2014 when it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Trudeau said he is “not remotely interested” in having Russia rejoin the group.

May added, “We have agreed to stand ready to take further restrictive measures against Russia if necessary.”

Basques Form 200-Kilometer Human Chain for Independence

A human chain made of 175,000 people stretched 200 kilometers (124 miles) Sunday in a display to demand an independence vote for the Basque region in northern Spain.

The demonstrators linked hands and stretched their chain from the coastal resort of San Sebastian to the Basque capital of Vitoria.

Some used white scarves as part of the chain while others sang and danced in place.

“We want for our people to have the right to choose what it wants to be,” one demonstrator said.

The president of the Basque parliament said the marchers are an “active and lively people” who want to make decisions in a democratic way.

Pro-independence forces hope their chances for a referendum have gone up since the armed Basque separatist group ETA announced last month it is disbanding after 50 years and more than 800 killings.

Basques already enjoy wide autonomy in northern Spain and parts of southern France. However, some say they will not be satisfied by anything less than full independence.

Putin Says Willing to Meet Trump Whenever US Is Ready

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that he’s happy to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump once Washington is ready to hold the summit and welcomed Trump’s call to bring Moscow back into the G-7 group of leading industrialized nations.

Speaking to reporters in Qingdao, China, Putin said that some nations, including Austria, have offered to host his summit with Trump, should they have one.

“The U.S. president has repeatedly said that it’s reasonable to hold such a meeting,” Putin said on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. “As soon as the U.S. side is ready, the meeting will take place, depending, of course, on my working schedule.”

 

Putin said he shares Trump’s expression of concern about a renewed arms race expressed in a March phone call.

 

“I can confirm that President Trump voiced concern about a new round of arms race in our latest call,” Putin said. “I fully agree with him,” he said, adding that personal meetings and work by experts are needed to tackle the issue.

Putin’s remarks follow a report that White House officials were working toward setting up a meeting. Trump has said he was open to having a summit with Putin, who U.S. intelligence officials have said directed Russian meddling in the 2016 election to help Trump win.

The American leader has repeatedly said he wants to improve relationships with Moscow.

Putin also welcomed Trump’s statement that Russia should be invited to rejoin the group that was called the G-8 before others expelled Russia.

“It wasn’t us who left,” he said. “Colleagues refused to come to Russia on well-known grounds.”

“We will be ready to greet them all in Moscow,” he added.

 

Russia was expelled from the grouping in 2014 after it invaded and annexed Crimea and for its support for pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine. Trump, however, suggested that the G-7 offer a seat at the table to Russia.

 

“I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in,” he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he told Trump that readmitting Russia “is not something that we are even remotely looking at at this time.”

 

Putin also dismissed as mere “chatter” a G-7 statement that criticized Russia.

 

The statement had said: “We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing behavior to undermine democratic systems and its support of the Syrian regime.” It also said the countries shared and agreed with Britain’s assessment that it is “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.

“Once again, nothing concrete was said,” Putin said, referring to the G-7 statement. “It’s time to stop that chatter and deal with real issues.”

 

Earlier Sunday, Putin criticized the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal in a speech at the summit.

He emphasized that the bloc’s members, who also include China, four ex-Soviet Central Asian nations, as well as India and Pakistan, are worried about the U.S. move.

 

Putin said that Washington’s decision to exit the agreement could “destabilize the situation” in the region. He added that Moscow will continue to honor its obligations under the Iranian nuclear deal.

Last month, Trump pulled out of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s landmark 2015 nuclear accord with Iran over the objections of European allies and other nations.

Addressing the summit, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose country has an observer status in the group, said that Iran would expect other participants in the nuclear deal to provide guarantees that they would honor the agreement.

Founded in 2001, the Beijing-based SCO has largely served as a vehicle for resolving border issues, fighting terrorism and — more implicitly — to counter American influence in Central Asia following its invasion of Afghanistan.

A Tale of Two Summits

It was a calmer summit, but drew far less Western media attention than the fractious G7 gathering in Canada, which ended in disarray in an escalating dispute over trade and tariffs.

Half a world away at a carefully choreographed annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Qingdao, China, there were no death-grip handshakes, personal jibes or Twitter skirmishes between the leaders of Russia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

And Russian and Chinese officials, as well as their state-run media outlets, Sunday sought to stress the contrast of unity in the Chinese port city of Qingdao with the division and ill-temper in Quebec as a tale of two summits.

During a Sunday, news conference in Qingdao, Russian leader Vladimir Putin offered an oblique commentary on the G7’s disarray, noting the combined purchasing power of the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is greater than that of the G7.

And Putin didn’t hesitate to note growing friction between the U.S. and Europe. It is a theme he has pressed repeatedly in recent weeks, notably during a recent trip to Austria, revealing a growing confidence in trying to drive a wedge between Washington and its Western allies, according to Ivan Kurilla, a history professor at the European University at St. Petersburg.

In Qingdao, the Russian President highlighted the possibility of the U.S. imposing tariffs on foreign-manufactured cars, something the Trump administration has threatened to do. “This might really hurt the economic interests of many countries, first of all, of course, of the European ones,” Putin said.

His Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping also referenced the disputes at the G7 meeting over President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum, warning against “selfish, short-sighted” policies and extolling free-trade.

He failed to note, though, China’s own tariffs on imports and mounting criticism by Western states of what they see as protectionist trading practices.

Founded in 2001, the SCO was created as a forum to resolve border and security issues, but experts say that increasingly in recent years Moscow and Beijing have used it as platform to counter American and Western influence in Central Asia.

This year, saw India and Pakistan join as full members, which Chinese and Russian leaders saying their entry marks a new chapter for the SCO.

Chinese and Russian leaders deny they are using the bloc as a tool of geo-strategic rivalry with the West.

On Sunday a Communist Party newspaper, The Global Times, contrasted the SCO with NATO and the G7, saying that the American-led multilateral organizations want to “consolidate the global economic order that is favorable to the Western world. The SCO “is not a tool for geopolitical games, seeking hegemony or engaging in international confrontation,” the paper editorialized.

Nonetheless, it crowed: “[The] G-7, the rich countries’ club which is supposed to better promote development of Western economies, is now all dog-eat-dog.” And in the past Russian leaders have pointed to the SCO as important in trying to build a “multipolar world order.”

More subtle than their media outlets, the bloc’s leaders in Qingdao maintained the counterpoint with the G-7 at their two-day meeting, singing each other’s praises. Xi Jingping announced Putin is his “best, most intimate friend” and noted the SCO is a “model for international win-win cooperation” that “will benefit not only its eight members, but also the world at large.”

“Unquestionably there is a shared belief, or vision, held by all SCO members that the age of American domination, and of West-dominated global institutions, is coming to an end and that new global institutions should be developed with a much stronger Asian influence [and possibly African and Latin American as well], at least in parallel with the Western order, and in some areas in defiant competition,” says David Howell, a former British foreign minister and now chairman of the House of Lords international relations committee.

But for all of the talk of a new era of cooperation between SCO members, some analysts see the Beijing and Moscow-led organization as more of a propaganda platform used to paper over sharp differences between its members and one whose aims remain to be defined.

Russia and China “differ over the organization’s exact purpose and scope,” argues Alexander Cooley, a political scientist at New York’s Columbia University.

In a commentary on the eve of the Qingdao meeting, he noted, “Many of the organization’s high-profile initiatives continue to be aspirational and unfilled — especially in the area of economic and energy cooperation — while the organization’s strong norm of consensus effectively means that the body is rarely used to ‘problem-solve’ or host contentious debates among its members.”

UK to Force Big Companies to Publish Worker-to-Boss Pay Gap

Britain’s biggest companies will from 2020 be legally required to publish the gap between the salaries of their chief executives and what they pay their average U.K. workers, under proposed government rules.

Business Minister Greg Clark said that the government would set out new laws in Parliament on Monday directing that U.K.-listed companies with more than 250 employees would have to reveal their pay gaps and justify their CEOs’ salaries.

“We understand the anger of workers and shareholders when bosses’ pay is out of step with company performance,” Clark said in a statement Sunday.

He said the new laws would improve transparency and boost accountability for both shareholders and workers, as well as helping to “build a fairer economy.”

The new measures, which are subject to parliamentary approval, are part of the government’s “Industrial Strategy” and would come into effect January 1, 2019, meaning companies would start reporting in 2020.

When these rules were first proposed last year, they were criticized by union leaders, who said they fell short of Prime Minister Theresa May’s promise early on in her tenure to tackle soaring executive pay.

‘Unacceptable face’ of capitalism

She came to power after the 2016 Brexit vote vowing to tackle what she called the “unacceptable face” of capitalism, including pay gaps and mismanaged takeovers, which had driven a wedge between British bosses and their workers.

But some campaigners and investors have questioned whether the greater transparency provided by disclosures about boss-to-worker pay ratios would be enough to force companies to curb pay excesses.

Matthew Fell, chief U.K. policy director at the Confederation of British Industry, a British employers group, said that the new legislation would help develop a better dialogue between boards and employees.

“What’s most important is that all businesses make progress towards fair and proportionate pay outcomes,” he said.

While Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Center, a think tank, said the insight into pay ratios would be useful to investors, workers and wider society.

“We hope that it will initiate a more informed debate about what represents fair, proportionate pay for workers at all levels,” he said.

The plan to make public the worker-to-boss pay gap comes after May has already implemented rules to highlight pay discrepancies between genders.

Earlier this year, all U.K. companies with 250 or more employees had to publish details of the salary difference between male and female employees. They will report back annually on that pay gap.

Iraqi Kurdish Police Say Man Admits Killing German Teen

Police in the Kurdistan region of Iraq said Saturday that a 20-year-old

Iraqi man had admitted killing a 14-year-old girl in Germany, where the case has stoked the immigration debate.

The body of Susanna Feldman, of Mainz, near Frankfurt, was found Wednesday in a wooded area in Wiesbaden, near a refugee center where the alleged attacker had lived, German police said.

An autopsy showed she had been the victim of a violent and sexual attack. Feldman was Jewish, but police said there was no evidence her religion had been a factor in the attack, and the Central Council of Jews in Germany

cautioned against attributing any anti-Semitic motive.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Kurdish security forces had taken the suspect, identified by German authorities as Ali Bashar, into custody Friday.

“Officers in Zakho [in Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region] called me and said they had located the suspect and would arrest him as soon as he comes to the city,” Dohuk city police chief Tariq Ahmed told Reuters. “He had been staying at a hotel in Dohuk and after realizing the police were after him left for Zakho to stay at a relative’s house. He was asleep there at night and was arrested in that house at 5:30 [a.m.],” Ahmed said.

Confession

He said the suspect, during interrogation by Kurdish security authorities, had confessed to killing the German teenager. 

“The girl was a friend of his. They went on a trip to the woods and there they consumed a lot of alcohol and drugs, then got into a dispute and the girl tried to call the police,” Ahmed said. “The suspect became afraid because she was under 18 and he knew if the police came it would be a major charge.”

Ahmed added: “He tried to convince her not to call the police but she insisted, so he choked her and buried her beneath the dirt.”

German media reported earlier that Bashar was expected to be extradited to Germany on Saturday. German federal police declined to comment on the details emerging from the suspect’s arrest or on the report on the timing of extradition.

Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her dismay at the crime and said it should be a reminder to Germans of the need to do whatever possible for the integration of immigrants.

“The incredible suffering experienced by the family, the victim, affects everyone, including me,” she said on the sidelines of a G-7 summit meeting in Canada.

“The cooperation in this regard between German and Kurdish security authorities worked well here. … It is good that the alleged perpetrator was caught, that he probably also will be returning to Germany,” Merkel said.

She added, “This is a reminder to all of us, first, to take the task of integration very seriously, to make our common values very clear, again and again. But also to punish any crime. We can only live together if we all stick to our laws.”

Merkel’s decision to take in large numbers of asylum seekers during Europe’s 2015 migrant crisis has stirred a political backlash, with many politicians calling for new rules to make it easier to deport immigrants.

Bashar had been living in Germany as a refugee since 2015, German media have reported.

German police set up a special call center for tips from the public and issued releases in Arabic and Turkish. They said on Thursday that Bashar had most likely fled to Irbil in the Kurdistan Regional Government.