Berlin, April 1 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday called on refugees in the country to respect local laws and values, while urging the native Germans to be more open.
Germany has welcomed around 1.2 million asylum seekers in a period of around two years and immigration policies remained highly scrutinised by the public in a nation braced for a general election in September, Efe news reported.
"On the one hand, I hope that refugees abide by out laws, that they take interest in our country and respect our values. One the other hand, we Germans must also be open," Merkel said.
Her agenda for the coming week sought to affirm her commitment to the policy of accepting refugees.
Merkel is set to attend an asylum centre in Cologne along with that city's top-flight soccer team, before attending a meeting with organisations charged with providing care to refugees followed by a reception event with voluntary workers in the immigration sector.
She said that welcoming refugees from around the world gave Germans the opportunity to learn about different customs and traditions.
"We should view it as an opportunity to learn and know more," she said.
Many refugees heading to Germany seek accommodation in the nation's cities, where housing options are limited.
Merkel has recently pushed for refugees to seek residence in rural areas.