Angela Merkel Calls For More Support For Turkey Coast Guard

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday pledged increased support to the Turkish coast guard, in an effort to help decrease refugee flows to Europe.

Written By Associated Press Television News | Mumbai | Updated On:
Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday pledged increased support to the Turkish coast guard, in an effort to help decrease refugee flows to Europe.

At a news conference alongside Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Merkel also said bilateral cooperation would be strengthened to try to stop illegal trafficking into Europe.

The number of migrants entering Europe from Turkey rose significantly last year as people fleeing conflict in Syria and Afghanistan arrived in Greece, leading to deteriorating conditions in overcrowded camps on the eastern Aegean islands.

Spearheaded by Germany, the EU agreed in 2016 to grant Turkey up to 6 billion euros (6.6 billion US dollars) in Syrian refugee aid money and other incentives to persuade the government in Ankara to stop migrants departing for Greece.

Erdogan frequently accuses the EU of not fulfilling its side of the deal and has in the past threatened to "open the gates" for migrants to head to Europe, saying his country cannot be expected to shoulder the burden of hosting millions of people.

Merkel also commented on the situation in Libya, after a peace conference hosted by Germany last Sunday resulted in a tentative truce between the Northern African country's warring authorities.

Merkel described the current cease-fire as "fragile" and stressed Germany backs the United Nations in its effort to achieve a permanent truce.

 

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