Turkey, Germany, France and UK discuss migration crisis, coronavirus
Turkish, German, British and French leaders discussed the Syria crisis and migrant issue as well as joint action against coronavirus in a videoconference, the Turkish presidency said on March 17.
In a statement, the presidency said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also discussed methods of humanitarian aid to Syria's northwestern Idlib province.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak were also present during the meeting.
Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın and Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also attended the teleconference.
After the meeting, Minister Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter that the leaders discussed joint action against the novel coronavirus. The leaders also discussed the developments in Syria, a "resolution to Syria crisis [and] humanitarian assistance to Idlib." Developments in Libya was also discussed, Çavuşoğlu said.
Çavuşoğlu said that the refugee flow was also on agenda as well as Turkey's relations with the European Union.
Tens of thousands of migrants tried to get into Greece, a European Union member state, after Turkey said on Feb. 28 it would no longer keep them on its territory as part of a 2016 deal with Brussels in return for EU aid.
Turkey hosts over 3.6 million Syrians, the world's largest refugee population, and fears that Syrian regime forces could drive another 3 million across its borders from the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib.
The European Union has called on Turkey to stop the migrants, from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Africa as well as Syria, trying to cross the border.
Greece has used tear gas and water cannon against the migrants, and both countries have sent troops or security forces to the border.
Ankara has accused Greek forces of shooting dead four migrants at the border.