An elderly refugee throws candy in the air shortly after she and other crossed the Aegean sea on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the Greek island of Lesbos, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
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Tensions over a record surge of asylum-seekers and fears that Islamist militants may have infiltrated the flow brought former Balkans rivals together in an urgent summit Wednesday, along with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.Managing the massive refugee flow has proved a major political and security challenge for the countries on the migrant route – and Europe's inability to agree on a common policy toward the surge has made the situation worse.In a 40-minute speech to the Bundestag lower house of parliament, Merkel said the security threat level in Germany was high but insisted that people must carry on with normal life.In addition, Merkel stressed her commitment to her disputed refugee policy, saying Germany, Europe's economic powerhouse, has a duty to protect those fleeing war and conflict in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.Merkel countered politicians in some countries who have warned that the refugee crisis has exposed problems in Europe's Schengen passport-free area, saying that states must develop it further by agreeing on migrant quotas.
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