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September 10 2017 | MÜNSTER, GERMANY

MERKEL at #Pathsofpeace: stop the traffickers of death, open legal ways. Thanks to Sant’Egidio for the #humanitariancorridors

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A long discourse to encourage the dialogue and the commitment for peace, starting with the role that Europe can play. It’s an invitation to address immigration at two fronts: that of the countries of origin, Africa that needs to be helped in its development more than we have done so far, and that of those who have already started on their journey of desperation towards Europe: we need to “stop the human trafficking”, and at the same time “open new ways of legal access” towards our continent.

Angela Merkel spoke at the International Meeting “Paths of Peace” and, in a long and passionate discourse, presented her road map for the future of Europe and of a world still marked by too many conflicts and terrorism. The German Chancellor had already participated in the Meeting “Spirit of Assisi” which was held in Munich in 2011 and thanked the Community of Sant’Egidio for her “fundamental peace work, based on the strength of the word and of mutual understanding, on the consciousness that it is possible to change for the better.”

“Dialogue – she affirmed – is possible and necessary: it helps to look at the world through the eyes of others and to live together. Religions have the task of peace; there is no justification of violence in the name of religion. They are certainly abused to give a meaning to violence.” At the same time “we cannot withdraw in parallel worlds, because we know that many problems come from not knowing each other.”

Having reminded that in the city of Münster and that of nearby Osnabrück, in 1648 the Peace of Westphalia had put an end to a war between the religions that had lasted for thirty years, the Chancellor insisted on the fundamental role that Europe needs to play in favour of peace precisely because of its own history has brought her to the unity and reconciliation that were unimaginable at the end of World War II and the tragedy of the Shoah: “Europe is not a levelling of nations: we remain a continent of diversity, but we can live together if we have a horizon of common values.”

There’s no lack of challenges and in the first place, she underlined, is that of migration: “There are values that do not stop at the borders of Europe: we have a responsibility in the world for the resolution of conflicts in Asia and in Africa. We cannot abandon the countries in crisis. And the world will not develop in a good way if some are excluded from this development.”  Therefor “as European peoples we have the responsibility to strive for the formation and qualification of the youth of Africa”, a crucial key for the economic and democratic development of a society: “It requires constructing schools and centres of formation. Let’s launch a new alliance for the Sahel.”

Thus the Chancellor arrived at the theme of immigration: “We have to save the people from the hands of the traffickers, to fight illegal emigration and provide safe ways to access Europe. We need pacts with Libya, Niger and Chad and to collaborate better with the countries of origin and with the transit countries. But we also need to occupy ourselves with those who are in Libya, sometimes in catastrophical conditions.” A “humanitarian admission” is also fundamental to Merkel: “It represents a fundamental instrument for our politics. I thank Sant’Egidio profoundly for its efforts to create humanitarian corridors, that help refugees not to end up in the hands of traffickers.” Peace, she concludes “is a building site, open to all, not only to strategists and specialists: all together we have a common responsibility for peace in the world.”

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