Merkel decries US pullout from Iran deal, gets peace prize

Merkel decries US pullout from Iran deal, gets peace prize
German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to a welcome speech during a ceremony inside Assisi's Basilica, Italy, Saturday, May 12, 2018. Merkel and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos arrived in Assisi to receive the Lamp of Peace award. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

ASSISI, Italy (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear accord makes the situation in the Middle East “more difficult.”

Speaking on Saturday at St. Francis’ Basilica, in Assisi, Italy, Merkel cited the recent escalation of Israeli-Iranian hostility as a reason for concern.

Franciscan friars at the Assisi church gave the German leader the St. Francis Peace Lamp. She said: “Peace isn’t possible without justice.”

Merkel said “the search for peace and reconciliation, independent of one’s faith and world vision, is an essential, fundamental task of politics.”

Addressing the divisions around the issue of migrants to Europe, she said “tolerance must be always present in the European Union.” She later recommended countering populist assertions with facts as populism rises in Italy and other countries.