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German leader to call on Gulf states to do more for refugees

Associated Press logo Associated Press 28/04/2017
German chancellor Angela Merkel waves to supporters during an election campaign in Oelde, Germany, for the upcoming state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, Thursday, April 27, 2017. Germany's most populated province elects a new parliament on May 14. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) © The Associated Press German chancellor Angela Merkel waves to supporters during an election campaign in Oelde, Germany, for the upcoming state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, Thursday, April 27, 2017. Germany's most populated province elects a new parliament on May 14. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this weekend with a message that they should do more to help refugees.

Germany has taken in hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, straining the country's budget and increasing anti-migrant sentiment.

Senior German officials, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the two-day trip, said Berlin believes the Gulf states can take in more refugees and provide more humanitarian aid than they've done so far.

During her first stop Sunday in Jeddah, Merkel will also raise the issue of Saudi Arabia's funding for religious institutions that spread a fundamentalist version of Islam.

Saudi Arabia recently closed several institutional establishments in Germany following pressure from Berlin.

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