Turkey pledges to ‘do everything’ to stem refugee influx
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu address a press conference, after a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, on January 22, 2016. (AFP/Tobias Schwarz)
Germany says Turkey has pledged to “do everything” in order to cut the number of asylum seekers coming to the European Union countries.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the remarks after an official meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Berlin on Friday. She said she had signed a joint communiqué with Davutoglu under which “the prime minister emphasized the commitment of the government of Turkey to undertaking all possible efforts to substantially reduce the number of irregular migrants in the near future.”
According to the statement, Turkey also “pledged to facilitate the readmission of irregular migrants not in need of protection.”
More than one million refugees, mostly from crisis-hit countries in the Middle East and North Africa, entered Germany in 2015. The huge refugee influx has put Merkel under domestic pressure and boosted anti-refugee protests in the country.
Merkel also urged other European Union countries to fulfill their pledge to provide Turkey with $3.3 billion to improve conditions for over two million refugees living there.
“We're not begging for money from the EU. But if there is a serious commitment to sharing the burden, then we have to sit down and talk about all the details of the crisis," Davutoglu said ahead of the meeting, adding that Turkey has so far spent $10 billion on the refugee crisis.
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