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Merkel asks Germans to have steadfast democratic values

01st January 2017, 12:00 Hrs

Berlin: Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Germans on Saturday to hold firm to democratic values in the face of jihadist terror, urging them to counter "murderers who are full of hate" with compassion and cohesion.

In her New Year's address delivered less than two weeks after a Tunisian suspect rammed a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people, Merkel acknowledged it was "bitter and sickening" that the attack and others in July were carried out by asylum seekers.

Nevertheless, she defended her decision in September 2015 to let in tens of thousands fleeing war from mostly Arab and Muslim nations.

"When we look at the images of bombed out Aleppo in Syria, we have to say once again how important and right it was for us to have helped those who needed our protection to find their way here and to integrate," she said.

Merkel said it was through such values of humanity and openness that Germany should face down those who espouse hate.

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