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Teenage refugee who wept at Angela Merkel remark wins longer stay in Germany

Published 24/12/2015

Reem Sahwil on a show by broadcaster RTL in Huerth, Germany (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)
Reem Sahwil on a show by broadcaster RTL in Huerth, Germany (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

A teenage Palestinian asylum seeker who broke down in tears after a blunt remark from chancellor Angela Merkel has won permission to stay in Germany for another year.

Reem Sahwil and her family have received an extension through until March 2017 due to good integration into society, the Bild newspaper reported, citing immigration officials in the town of Rostock in north-east Germany.

Mrs Merkel brought the 14-year-old to tears during a town hall-style meeting in July after the teenager said her family had been waiting four years for permanent residence status.

Mrs Merkel told her Germany cannot accommodate everyone, but outlined her government's desire to speed up asylum applications.

Mrs Merkel's remark and awkward attempt to comfort the girl was criticised by opposition politicians, but the teenager later said she appreciated Mrs Merkel's honesty.

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