Desperately seeking help to contain Europe’s migrant crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Sunday explicitly linked accelerating Turkey’s effort to join the European Union to Turkish cooperation in clamping down on the flow of refugees from Turkey to Europe.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey and Chancellor
Angela Merkel of Germany met Sunday in Istanbul.
Ms. Merkel, who has long opposed Turkey’s admission to the bloc, said she would support speeding up the process, a concession that underscored the importance European leaders place on Turkey’s cooperation in trying to contain what has become the largest flow of migrants since World War II, as people flee violence and deprivation in the Middle East and Africa.
“No country can shoulder the refugee burden alone,” Ms. Merkel said at a news conference with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey in Istanbul on Sunday. “The job has to be shared.”
For weeks, a deal in principle between Europe and Turkey has been discussed: it would include almost three billion euros, or about $3.4 billion, to help Turkey deal with nearly 2.2 million refugees, mostly from Syria, who now live in Turkey. At the news conference, Ms. Merkel and Mr. Davutoglu said no agreement had been finalized and that the details were still being worked out.
|"Germany is ready to give support," to Turkish |
demands, Merkel (l) said after meeting Erdogan (r)
Mr. Davutoglu continued to press for a “safe zone” in northern Syria, a longstanding priority for Turkey that has been met largely by silence from the international community, because it would require a substantial military operation.
Mr. Davutoglu said: “Our priority is to prevent illegal immigration and reduce the number of people crossing our borders. In that respect, we have had very fruitful discussions with the E.U.”Read the rest of the story HERE and follow a link to a related story below:
Merkel pushes for Turkey EU membership talks
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