Scrolling news:

Iraq: US seeks verification of ‘Islamic State’ beheading of journalist James Foley

Japan: Torrential rains unleash deadly landslide killing a dozen people in Hiroshima

Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

UK: Chancellor Merkel appeals for strong UK voice inside EU

28th Feb 2014


]German Chancellor Angela Merkel applauded by Speaker of House of Commons, John Bercow]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has appealed for a strong United Kingdom voice inside the EU in an address to the upper and lower houses of British parliament. She said London is needed to help bring reform to the bloc.

Chancellor Merkel addressed both houses of the British parliament at Westminster on Thursday, making her the first German leader to do so since 1986 and the first chancellor from a reunited Germany.


Merkel, who began and ended her speech in English though delivered the bulk of it in German, said she could not promise a fundamental EU reform that would fully satisfy Britain, though she acknowledged expectations were high.

“Some expect my speech to pave the way for a fundamental reform of the European architecture which will satisfy all kinds of alleged or actual British wishes. I am afraid they are in for a disappointment,” said Merkel.

“Others are expecting the exact opposite and they are hoping that I will deliver the clear and simple message here in London that the rest of Europe is not prepared to pay almost any price to keep Britain in the European Union. I am afraid these hopes will be dashed,” she added.


Merkel said she was “caught between the devil and the deep blue sea,” on the issue, which was “not a pleasant place to be in.”

She nonetheless urged Britain to remain in the EU, saying the bloc would be stronger with London’s presence.

“United and determined we can serve as a model for other regions of the world. This and nothing less than this, should be our common goal, I regard it as the task of our generation,” Merkel said. “In order to attain this goal, we need a strong United Kingdom with a strong voice inside the European Union.”

Speech dampened expectations

Expectations for the  highly anticipated visit have been high. Last weekend, Foreign Secretary William Hague described Germany as “our most important partner on seeking reform in the EU” due to its economic strength and key position in the eurozone.

Merkel’s speech was more a reflection of her wish for an EU that values a social market system and strong federal system – much like Germany’s. That vision for the 28-member bloc contrasts starkly with that of Cameron’s, according to DW’s Peter Craven.

“For the whole of the last week, it’s been clear that David Cameron [wanted the German chancellor to give] clear promises for opt-outs from European laws or European treaties,” Craven said. “What he got instead was lots of talk of renewal.”

Off to Downing Street

The German chancellor later had lunch with Prime Minister Cameron at Downing Street. During a press conference afterward, they reiterated the wish of both of their governments to “see changes in Europe.”

Both leaders also agreed that the EU needed to implement stronger freedom of movement laws in order to hinder immigrants from taking advantage of stronger EU countries’ social welfare systems.

Merkel and Cameron also discussed the  ongoing political crisis in Ukraine.

Coming in response to fears of Russian military aggression prompted by a military drill, the German and British leaders said it was important for “Moscow to keep its word” on honoring Ukraine’s sovereignty.

“The world is watching,” Cameron said.

Cameron has promised that, if re-elected next year, he will renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the 28-member bloc and then hold a referendum on the country’s membership no later than 2017. He is under growing pressure from euroskeptics in his own Conservative party as well as the UK Independence Party.

Chancellor Merkel was due to have tea with Queen Elizabeth II following her meeting with the prime minister.

hc,dr/kms (Reuters, dpa)


Leave a Comment

What is 14 + 12 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets

The Muslim News


Awards for Excellence

Read more