In a televised meeting that has gone viral, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rubbed the shoulder of a sobbing teenager who faces the threat of deportation under German policies.

In a school gymnasium in the northern city of Rostock, Merkel said the girl was one of “thousands and thousands” of refugees that the German government was unable to help.

The Guardian reports:

During the discussion, entitled “Good life in Germany”, Reem, a Palestinian, told Merkel in fluent German that she and her family, who arrived in Rostock from a Lebanese refugee camp four years ago, face the threat of deportation.

She said: “I have goals like anyone else. I want to study like them … it’s very unpleasant to see how others can enjoy life, and I can’t myself.”

Merkel responded by saying she understood, but that “politics is sometimes hard. You’re right in front of me now and you’re an extremely sympathetic person. But you also know in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are thousands and thousands and if we were to say you can all come … we just can’t manage it.”

The chancellor said she hoped the decision-making process, as to which refugees could stay and which must return, would soon be made quicker. But she was forced to stop mid-sentence, and muttered “oh Gott”, on seeing that Reem was crying. She walked up to the girl and started stroking her shoulder, saying: “You were great … I know it’s difficult for you and you presented extremely well the situation that many others find themselves in.”

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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