London — Britain’s new prime minister will visit Germany this week for a two-day visit, a government official said Wednesday.
May, the first female leader of the Conservative Party, will address students and members of the German parliament on Thursday.
The visit comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a strong ally of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s, has pledged to bolster the alliance as she tries to stem a surge in refugee flows.
Merkel has pledged a “zero tolerance” approach toward asylum seekers and has called for an “open, transparent and democratic” refugee system, while May has stressed her own desire to stem the wave.
German Chancellor Angela Kappeler, left, and German Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, right, look on as Britain’s new Home Secretary Amber Rudd speaks to students and representatives of German Chancellor Ursula von der Leyen during a session at the university of Wiesbaden in Wiesbühl, Germany, Wednesday, June 26, 2020.
British Prime Minster Theresa May attends a news conference with the leaders of Austria, Germany and Sweden during the annual UN General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday, May 5, 2020, following the start of a climate change conference.
May says she wants a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to asylum seekers while Merkel has called on the U.K. to make more generous financial offers to refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Hesse listens during a news press conference after meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany July 14, 2020.(AP Photo/Stefan Martin)Merkel will travel to the German capital Wednesday to meet the new prime minster, and then the two will meet in London, a senior government official told Reuters.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said the visit would be a “very positive step.”
May is expected to make the trip to Germany, which is home to 1.1 million refugees.
Britain has been overwhelmed with refugees and the European Union is struggling to cope with the crisis, with some members struggling to manage hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and persecution in the continent.
Earlier this month, German Chancellor and Prime Minsters Angela Merkel (L) and Stefan Lofer (R) listen as Britains new Home Minister Amber Rudd addresses students and leaders of German chancellor Ursula Von der Leyeen during an event at the University of Wiebe, Germany on June 25, 2020 in Wiebeschofe, Germany.
(AP Photo) The United States, Germany’s closest ally and home to more than a million migrants, has been under fire for taking in tens of thousands.
Merkel has pledged that Britain will not accept refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The government says Britain will take in 50,000 refugees from those countries this year.
Trump’s decision to temporarily halt refugee admissions was widely seen as a sign of his frustration with Merkel’s handling of the refugee crisis.
The U.S. has taken in more than 2 million refugees, the vast majority of them refugees fleeing violence and persecution at home in Africa, Asia and the Middle West.
On Wednesday, a top U.N. official said Britain was taking in an average of more than 300,000 people a day from the Middle Eastern conflict zones in the last few weeks.
Asylum seekers, most of them Syrians, have streamed into the U,K.
in the first three months of the year.
A senior government source told Reuters the new Prime Ministar would be in attendance.