Angela Merkel said the EU needs to take in more refugees
The German Chancellor launched a staunch defence of her controversial refugee policy which allowed more than 1.1million migrants into the country in 2015, prompting protests and social upheaval.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference today, she said the bloc as a whole has a duty to accept even more refugees.
During the wide-ranging speech, she also said Islam is not a source of terrorism and told the audience, which included US Vice President Mike Pence, Muslim states need to be involved in the fight against terrorism, as does Russia.
The joint fight against Islamic terrorism is one area where we have the same interests and we can work together
Mrs Merkel, said: “The joint fight against Islamic terrorism is one area where we have the same interests and we can work together.”
The German leader has been highly critical of a US travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.
Mrs Merkel and Mike Pence appeared to be enjoying each other's company
Earlier this week US Defence Secretary James Mattis issued a stark warning to fellow NATO countries as he threatened the US will “moderate its commitment” to the alliance unless member states meet the two per cent defence spending target.
Three days after the warning Mrs Merkel told the Conference Germany would do “everything possible” to meet the target by 2024.
The seven-year framework may not quell US anger after Fabrice Pother, former head of policy planning for NATO’s secretary-general, on Thursday said Germany alone is the answer to the alliance’s spending woes and would shore up a third of the £80billion deficit if it just met the two per cent target.
Addressing the delicate subject of Russia, the Chancellor said she wants to discuss cyber attacks and fake news with Russia.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
However, she conceded it was unlikely the problem of fake news could be successfully addressed before European elections this year, including in Germany this September.
Mike Pence said Donald Trump fully supports NATO
More than 1.1million refugees entered Germany in 2015
She said: “We know that Russia communicates very openly that it views hybrid warfare as a form of defence.
"If I could wish for one thing, it would certainly be very good to get this topic, for example, on the agenda in the framework of NATO-Russia talks."
Migrants clash with police across Europe Wed, February 15, 2017
Migrants clash with each other in over crowded camps across Europe.
Play slideshow EPA 1 of 107
Moroccan Police look at immigrants trying to jump the six-meter-high fence in Ceuta, Spanish enclave on the north of Africa, 09 December 2016.
Talking about the euro, Mrs Merkel reacted to a trade adviser to President Donald Trump accusing Germany of profiting from a “grossly undervalued” euro.
She did not hold back as she said there was a “problem” with the value of the currency because the European Central Bank was tailoring its policies to weaker members of the euro zone and not strictly to Germany.
Mrs Merkel even suggested a return to the Deutsche Mark.
She told the Conference: “We have at the moment in the euro zone of course a problem with the value of the euro.
"The ECB has a monetary policy that is not geared to Germany, rather it is tailored to countries from Portugal to Slovenia or Slovakia.
“If we still had the German D-Mark it would surely have a different value than the euro does at the moment. But this is an independent monetary policy over which I have no influence as German chancellor."
- Merkel in fight for German car workers as Vauxhall takeover looms
- Germany tells Trump he should be THANKING them for migrant policy
- German business chief goes to WAR with Trump