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Merkel In Mexico: Walls Don’t Work, ‘Sensible Relationships’ Do

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said walls are no solution to migration Saturday during her state visit to Mexico.

Merkel challenged U.S. President Donald Trump’s plans to build a wall along the Mexican border, saying history proves it won’t solve any problems. The chancellor, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany, instead suggests “sensible relationships” with neighboring countries.

“Obviously the main reason for people leaving must be addressed on site first, which means putting up walls and cutting oneself off will not solve the problem,” Merkel said, according to Reuters. “It’s an issue you can study well in the history of China with the [Great] Wall of China, you can study it in the history of the Roman Empire. Essentially, only when great empires have managed to forge sensible relationships with their neighbors and to manage migration has it been a success.”

Merkel further backed Mexico in renegotiation talks of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“I hope these talks are a big success,” she said. “And I’d like to offer thanks that the interests of German companies are also being taken into consideration.”

Merkel recently warned of changing relations after Brexit and the election of Trump. She said a division within the western alliance became evident during the G7 meeting in Italy in May.

“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days,” Merkel said at a May 28 campaign rally in Munich. “We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.”

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