Merkel is "moral voice" in refugee crisis, UN's Ban Ki-moon says

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel's role in the refugee crisis, describing her as the world's "true moral voice."

"The chancellor has shown great sympathy and tried to find the right approach to these challenges," Ban said on Tuesday after meeting with Merkel in Berlin.

"She is a true moral voice, not only in Europe but in the world at large," he said standing alongside Merkel at a press conference.

The UN secretary general urged Europe to do more to cope with the refugee crisis.

"Europe is the continent where more can be done," he said, adding that it cannot just be a matter of how much money is made available.

"This is about more: This is about humanity, the respect for human rights," he said.

Ban went on to criticize the moves to tighten asylum laws and the rise in nationalistic sentiments in some countries.

A policy that is directed against refugees drives a wedge into societies, he warned.

Ban was commenting after Merkel and the other European Union leaders reached a broad agreement with Turkey at a summit on Monday aimed at stemming the flow of refugees into the EU.

However, Merkel's Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas warned that the EU leaders should also consider Ankara's actions against the media when negotiating with Turkey over the refugee crisis.

"Human rights and the rule of law must always be part of our dialogue with Turkey," said Maas, who is a member of left-leaning Social Democrats, the junior member of Merkel's conservative-led coalition.

"The repression of critical reporting is not consistent with our understanding of press freedom," Maas told the Funke media group in an interview to be published on Wednesday.

Last update: Tue, 08/03/2016 - 20:10

More from Europe

May vows to press Trump on "unacceptable" remarks in Friday meeting

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday vowed to confront US President Donald Trump about any "unacceptable"...

Hungarian bus company probed for negligence after Italy crash

Criminal negligence charges are being mulled against the owners of a bus that was in a fatal accident in Italy at...

Italian rescue efforts ongoing at avalanche-stricken hotel

Rescuers worked around the clock into Sunday to recover 23 people still missing in an Italian hotel that was buried...

Report: British government hid failed test of nuclear-capable missile

The British government covered up a failed test of a nuclear-capable missile last year, weeks before a vote in...

Bus crash survivors tell of 'heroes' who saved their lives

Survivors of a bus crash that claimed 16 lives in northern Italy over the weekend told local media Sunday they were...