German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said Germany and France have agreed that Europe must protect the European Union’s external borders.
Merkel made the comment during a joint news conference in Paris with French President Francois Hollande, after a meeting in which they discussed an upcoming special EU summit with Turkey on the refugee crisis.
The meeting came ahead of a critical summit between EU and Turkish leaders on March 7, which Brussels aims to take concrete decisions to ensure lasting reduction in the flow of refugees fleeing war, poverty and persecution in the Middle East and Africa.
Hollande said that Syrian refugees fleeing war in the country and who make up many of refugees trying to enter Europe through Turkey and Greece were best dealt with close to their country of origin.
The French President also said the EU should make shoring up the Schengen agreement on open borders between some of its members a priority despite the strains put on it by the refugee crisis.
"In the end, our objective is to put Schengen back in order, which will happen through coordination, solidarity and reinforcement of our mutual resources," he said.
The EU plans to announce a "roadmap" on Friday to restore the Schengen-zone to full force, by November.