Germany and Tunisia agree migrant deal

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Germany and Tunisia agree migrant deal

Angela Merkel says Tunisia has agreed to take back 1500 of its citizens whose asylum applications have been turned down by Germany.

The German chancellor said the pledge was made during talks with President Beji Essebsi in the Tunisian capital.

Merkel’s visit is part of a broader push to boost German investment in Africa, slow the flow of migrants into Europe and increase intelligence-sharing to combat terrorism.

What Merkel said

“We have agreed with Tunisia to send back 1,500 Tunisians to Tunisia who have been refused (permission) to stay in Germany,” Merkel said at a press conference with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi in Tunis.

“Those who want to return voluntarily will be eligible to receive aid.”

Merkel also said the German government would provide Tunisia with 250 million euros in aid for development projects.

Berlin’s Christmas attack – what happened?

12 people died when a Tunisian national attacked a Christmas market in Berlin in December.

Merkel told Tunisia she wanted to speed up repatriation of failed asylum-seekers after ISIL supporter Anis Amri drove a truck through the stalls.

He had been denied asylum six months earlier. Merkel has come under heavy pressure for policies that allowed a million refugees into Germany in the last two years.

German authorities have detained another Tunisian man they suspect of involvement in the truck attack.

What Essebsi said

Essebsi said Tunisia would send a delegation to verify the identities of those returning.