German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived on Sunday in Saudi Arabia, where she is expected to press royals on a number of sensitive issues, including taking in refugees, while also boosting important business ties in her first visit to the country in seven years.
Merkel met King Salman in the Red Sea city of Jiddah and is scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates on Monday. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are Germany's largest trading partners in the Middle East.
During her talks with Gulf leaders, Merkel is expected to press them to do more to take in refugees and provide humanitarian relief for those fleeing conflict in Muslim-majority countries. Her country has provided refuge to hundreds of thousands of people from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan in recent years.
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