A Syrian refugee family in Germany has named their newly born baby girl Angela Merkel Muhammed out of gratitude to the chancellor for her open-door asylum policy in 2015, hospital officials said.

“The first name of the girl is Angela, the second is Merkel. With this decision, the parents wanted to show their thankfulness to the chancellor,” said a spokeswoman for St. Franziskus Hospital in the western German city of Muenster.

Angela Merkel Muhammed was born on Aug 16, measuring 53 centimetres and weighing 3,920 grams, he said, adding that the girl was the parents’ fifth child.

Her mother, Asia Faray, and father, Khalid Muhammed, arrived in Germany with their then four children at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015.

Merkel, due to hold an election campaign rally in Muenster on Tuesday, lost popular support last year over worries about how Germany could absorb an influx of over a million migrants.

But with the refugee flow now stemmed, Merkel’s popularity has recovered. Opinion polls put her conservatives some 15 percentage points ahead of their nearest rivals ahead of a national election on Sept 24.

It is not the first time that a refugee family in Germany has named its newly born baby this way. In Feb 2015, Angela Merkel Ade was born in a hospital in the northern city of Hanover. Her mother had migrated from Ghana to Germany. — REUTERS

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