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Merkel to join Muslim rally for 'tolerance'

Updated: 2015-01-13 08:45

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will join a rally for an "open and tolerant Germany" on Tuesday in the wake of last week's attacks in Paris, a spokesman of the German government announced Monday.

The rally, organized by Germany's Muslim organisations and Turkish community groups, is scheduled to start at 6 pm local time (1700 GMT) Tuesday at the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin.

German President Joachim Gauck will address the gathering, which Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and other top officials are also expected to attend.

Speaking Monday at a joint press conference with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Merkel said Tuesday's rally would send a strong signal for the peaceful coexistence between different religions in her country.

The chancellor stressed that "Islam is part of Germany," adding "I am the chancellor of all Germans."

She also expressed her gratitude to Germany's Muslims for having drawn a clear line and delivered a clear 'No' to the use of violence following the bloody attacks in Paris.

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