Merkel to hold talks with Turkish premier over migrants

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Ankara next week to discuss efforts to manage the refugee crisis with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, a spokesman said Friday.

The leaders decided at this week's Syrian aid conference to meet on Monday to discuss the implementation of a multilateral plan to crack down on smuggling networks and curb migration, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Merkel wants to resist unilateral measures demanded by members of her coalition, including stricter border controls and an upper limit on the number of new arrivals. Some 1.1 million migrants entered Germany in 2015.

EU leaders are to discuss progress in tackling the refugee crisis at a summit on February 18-19. Earlier this week, the bloc gave the go-ahead for a 3-billion-euro (3.3-billion-dollar) fund for Turkey aimed at improving the lives of refugees living there.

Meanwhile, politicians discussed how to tackle the immigration crisis at separate meetings in Europe Friday.

At a meeting between interior ministers from Germany, France and Greece in Athens, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere spoke out in favour of comprehensively registering refugees in Greece and organizing their further travel from there.

Germany and France both pledged to support Greece in the task.

Ahead of a meeting in Amsterdam with 27 EU foreign ministers, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz stressed the importance of cooperating with the western Balkan states, which the majority of migrants cross on their way to wealthier countries in northern Europe.

He also raised the possibility of a joint civilian and military mission aimed at better controlling migration flows.

Last update: Fri, 05/02/2016 - 20:39

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