November 9, 2015 / 11:06 AM / 3 years ago

Merkel backs her interior minister after refugee row

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere retains the confidence of Chancellor Angela Merkel, a government spokesman said on Monday, after a spat within her cabinet over whether to limit the asylum rights of refugees from Syria.

Refugees and migrants arrive on a raft on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 9, 2015. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

The government was forced to clarify on Friday that its asylum policy for refugees from Syria remained unchanged after de Maiziere said their applications would be handled differently in the future and that they would be barred from having family members join them.

Asked if de Maiziere retained Merkel’s confidence, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference: “Of course he does.”

Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Paul Carrel; Editing by Noah Barkin

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