Merkel applauds Turkey’s efforts for refugees
REUTERS photoGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel has renewed her praise for Turkey’s efforts to take care of refugees, saying it’s only right for Europe to continue supporting it despite tensions with Ankara.
Speaking at a European People’s Party congress in Malta, Merkel said that amid the EU’s negligence, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan had long struggled alone to cope with the influx from neighboring Syria.
“Apart from all the criticism we currently have for Turkey, they did a lot for the 3 million refugees and it is right that Europe would assist Turkey on this matter,” Merkel said.
She said Germany decided to take in refugees because Europe had “neglected a lot beforehand.”
‘’The truth is: we looked the other way when the issue was to finance refugee camps,” she added.
Merkel championed an agreement signed between the EU and Turkey last year to stem the flows of people across the Aegean Sea, and improve conditions for millions of refugees sheltered in Turkey.
While the plan has successfully reduced refugee flows, the Turkish authorities have accused the EU of not honoring its commitments.