PM Modi congratulates German Chancellor Merkel on assuming office for fourth term

PM Modi congratulates German Chancellor Merkel on assuming office for fourth term

This followed lengthy coalition negotiations after federal elections there last September. She set out promises such as achieving full employment by 2025 and strengthening the pension system.

Merkel, a Russian speaker, has had a hard but engaged relationship with Putin during her more than 12 years in office.

Merkel and her new cabinet were sworn in to office last week after she struggled to pull together a coalition for nearly six months after elections, the longest period taken to form a government in the history of the country.

She defended her controversial refugee policy and said it was time for Germany and Europe to do more to solve the crisis "on the EU's doorstep" in Syria.

"That too we condemn in the strongest terms" she said. "And such an exceptional situation should and must not be repeated".

Trump won't fire Mueller
The president discussed the possibility of enlisting Olson with aides Monday and was supportive of the idea, another person said. Mueller has won indictments and, in some cases, convictions against a number of figures from the Trump campaign.

Merkel has been criticized by German politicians and rights organizations for her silence on Turkish invasion of Afrin. Merkel also said she will "always defend" a 2016 agreement with Turkey, aimed at curbing migrant arrivals and the activities of smugglers, although the deal has many opponents. Seehofer sparked a furor last week when he told the Bild newspaper that "Islam does not belong in Germany".

He added: "I thank the Chancellor and German government for their ongoing and resolute support".

The AfD, as the main opposition party, had the first response to the chancellor's speech, with its co-leader Alexander Gauland saying: "Society is falling apart".

In his reply to Merkel, he suggested that recent migrants were receiving benefits at the expense of low-income Germans.

Sambo, who spoke with State House Correspondents after the meeting, said it was a private meeting.

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