German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the political Ash Wednesday meeting of the Christian Democratic Union party CDU in Demmin, eastern Germany, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel starts a two-day trip to Egypt and Tunisia Thursday, part of her push to limit migrant flows to Europe through North Africa, especially chaos-torn Libya.Merkel, who faces elections in September, has been under intense pressure to reduce the number of asylum seekers coming to Germany, which has taken in over one million migrants since 2015 .Merkel first heads to Egypt, where she will meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, before holding talks Friday with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.The trip is part of a larger diplomatic push by Merkel, who last year visited Mali, Niger and Ethiopia.In particular, an idea floated by Merkel's interior minister -- for North African countries to build holding centers for returned migrants -- has been rejected by Merkel's centre-left coalition partners and by rights groups.
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