The Latest: German politician criticized over migration pact
ISTANBUL (AP) — The Latest on issues relating to migrants in Europe (all times local):
A contender for the leadership of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party is drawing criticism for suggesting a U.N. global migration pact should be put to party members and Germany could delay approving it.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said Sunday that politicians haven’t done enough to discuss the non-binding pact, due for approval at a Dec. 11-12 meeting in Morocco. The agreement has angered nationalists in several countries, and is being shunned by the U.S., Hungary and Austria.
Spahn argued that a congress of his Christian Democratic Union party Dec. 7-8 should discuss how to proceed with the pact, which has strong backing from other ministers.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told ZDF television Monday he was “a bit surprised” because conservative lawmakers already discussed the pact at length and broadly endorsed it.
Turkey’s coast guard says it rescued 40 migrants stuck on an island after they attempted the crossing to Greece.
In a statement Monday, the coast guard said it dispatched two helicopters and one boat following a rescue request call by a migrant. Aerial footage showed groups of people on an island off the coast of the western province of Balikesir.
Videos showed coast guard officers aiding women and children to board its ship. The statement did not specify the nationalities of the migrants.
Although their numbers have decreased in recent years, migrants still try to cross into Greece from nearby Turkey in the hopes of making their way to other European countries. The Turkish coast guard intercepted more than 23,500 people this year.