Merkel to visit Ankara over Syrian refugee crisis

Merkel to visit Ankara over Syrian refugee crisis

Merkel to visit Ankara over Syrian refugee crisis

AA photo

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pay a visit to the Turkish capital on Feb. 8, to meet with the prime minister, as the European Union struggles to cope with the more than one million Syrian refugees that have fled their country due to an ongoing civil war.

According to her official program, Merkel will hold talks with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in Ankara, with the main focus of the meeting being the implementation of the EU-Turkey Action Plan. 

The European Union pledged to give 3 billion euros worth of funds to Turkey in return for a stoppage of irregular migrants travelling to EU member countries. 

“The core of the meeting will be on how the action plan agreed between Turkey and the EU in late November [2015] is implemented,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Feb. 5.

The visit is going to take place upon the invitation of Davutoğlu, sources told state-run Anadolu Agency on Feb. 5. The two leaders had held a brief meeting in London on Feb. 4 on the sidelines of the Supporting Syria and the Region donors’ conference.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he was also going to meet Merkel in Ankara on Feb. 8. 

“I will meet with her [Merkel] on Monday [Feb. 8] in Ankara. Prime Minister [Davutoğlu] will also hold a meeting [with Merkel. The main topic will most probably be the refugee crisis,” said Erdoğan on the way back to Turkey from Senegal on Feb. 6, according to daily Hürriyet. 

“Meetings with Chancellor Merkel have become more frequent lately. This is good in a way,” said Erdoğan. 

Erdoğan mentioned that the EU had promised 3 billion euros to be used for Syrian refugees in Turkey but that no development had been seen in Turkey.