DW News published this video item, entitled “Angela Merkel receives fond farewell at final EU summit | DW News” – below is their description.
Although Angela Merkel could still be the chancellor of Germany the next time European Union leaders meet, her colleagues decided to give her an official send-offon Friday at a summit of bloc leaders in Brussels.
“You are a monument,” said EU Council President Charles Michel, adding that a summit meeting without her will be like “Rome without the Vatican or Paris without the Eiffel Tower.”
Michel added: “Your spirit and experience will remain with us. You are not leaving us.”
Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel joined in the compliments, saying “Frau Merkel was a compromise machine.”
Former US President Barack Obama, who has referred to Merkel as a good friend, sent a video message that was played at the celebration.
“Your beloved people and the entire world owe you a debt of gratitude for taking the high ground for so many years,” he said, referring to her as the “center” holding the EU together and praising what he saw as her putting principles ahead of self-interest.
The divisive issue of refugees and migrants was top of the agenda as the 27 European Union leaders met in Brussels for the second day of their summit. Their meeting came amid a surge of migrants and refugees trying to cross the Belarusian border into Poland, Lithuania and Latvia from countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
EU leaders have accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of flying in illegal migrants to send them across the border, in an effort to destabilize the EU. Germany’s federal police said last week that more than 4,300 people had entered the country from Poland after traveling from Belarus since August, compared with just 26 registered from January to July.
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Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.
Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko or Alyaksandr Ryhoravich Lukashenka is a Belarusian politician, who has served as president of Belarus since the establishment of the office 26 years ago, on 20 July 1994.
Barack Obama is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Obama was the first African-American president of the United States. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004.
Obama left office in January 2017 and continues to reside in Washington, D.C.
Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus and formerly known as Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk.
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,233,255.3 km² and an estimated total population of about 447 million.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe. It lies between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps to the south.
Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. With over 83 million inhabitants of its 16 constituent states, it is the second-most populous country in Europe after Russia, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Its capital and largest city is Berlin, and its financial centre is Frankfurt; the largest urban area is the Ruhr.
Iran, also called Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. Its central location in Eurasia and proximity to the Strait of Hormuz give it significant geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital and largest city.
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. The Iranian Revolution established the current Islamic Republic in 1979.
Iran’s political system combines elements of a presidential democracy and an Islamic theocracy. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power and has large reserves of fossil fuels — including the world’s largest natural gas supply and the third largest proven oil reserves.
The country’s rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Historically a multi-ethnic country, Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lurs.
Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yazidis, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandaeans, Circassians, Sabians and Kawliya. Around 99% of the country’s 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.
Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates, four of which make up the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Disputes over the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region continue.
Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF.
Latvia is a country on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Estonia. Its landscape is marked by wide beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests. Latvia’s capital is Riga, home to notable wooden and art nouveau architecture, a vast Central Market and a medieval Old Town with St. Peter’s Church.
Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is one of the Baltic states. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2019. The capital and largest city is Vilnius and other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Balts. The official language, Lithuanian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family, the other being Latvian.
On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to proclaim its independence, resulting in the restoration of the independent State of Lithuania.
Lithuania is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, eurozone, Schengen Agreement, NATO and OECD. It is also a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries, and is classified as a Northern European country by the United Nations.
Luxembourg is a small European country, surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany. It’s mostly rural, with dense Ardennes forest and nature parks in the north, rocky gorges of the Mullerthal region in the east and the Moselle river valley in the southeast. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is famed for its fortified medieval old town perched on sheer cliffs.
Paris, France‘s capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Major landmarks include the Eiffel Tower, the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées.
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, and has a largely temperate seasonal climate.
Poland’s capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw.