Crying refugee girl puts German chancellor on the spot

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BERLIN (AP) — Angela Merkel has come under criticism for her awkward treatment of a young refugee girl brought to tears by the German chancellor's comments on asylum.

A video of the encounter Wednesday afternoon shows the Palestinian girl telling Merkel that her family has been waiting four years for permanent leave to remain in Germany.

Merkel tells the teenager she is "an incredibly likable person" but Germany can't accommodate all migrants — "some will have to go home," and the government can only promise to speed up decisions.

As the girl burst into tears Merkel walks over to comfort her, saying she wants to "give her a pat."

Katrin Goering-Eckardt, a senior lawmaker with the opposition Green party, tweeted Thursday that "the mistakes in the government's refugee policies can't be patted away."

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