Merkel says Turkey, Germany to boost efforts against DAESH

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meet in Berlin for annual consultations

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel give a press conference, after a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on January 22, 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday that both countries would intensify their military efforts against DAESH.

"A solution of the military conflict in Syria is the most hopeful message that we can have, especially in light of the migrant [refugee] crisis. And therefore, we work politically, but we are also united in the coalition against DAESH and fight together," she said after the first German-Turkish government consultations in Berlin.

Merkel also spoke about finding a political solution to terror created by PKK terrorist group.

Davutoglu reaffirmed Turkey’s close ties with Berlin and said that Ankara was working “hand in hand” with Berlin in fighting against DAESH in Syria and Iraq.

Merkel continued that Germany would make sure that Turkey obtained the scheduled aid by the European Union to deal with the refugee crisis.

"From the European side we will place the 3 billion at (Turkey's) disposal - I assured that today again - in order to carry out projects for migrants and the improvement of their living conditions," Merkel said.

Both the chancellor and prime minister emphasized that Turkey has already addressed the issue.

"Turkey has already taking first steps," Merkel said.

"And we will continue to work very intensely until February 18th (European Council) to support Turkey - as our interior minister have agreed upon - where support is necessary. FRONTEX (EU border agency) can also work together with Turkey. We will work together intensely," she added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shake hands during a press conference after a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on January 22, 2016 (AFP)

Before diving into the issue of dealing with the refugee crisis, Davutoglu expressed his sadness about the terror attack in Istanbul on Jan. 12 saying that he and his country deeply mourned the attack on Germans.

"We were deeply moved by the terror attack in Istanbul. Unfortunately, we lost German friends in this attack. They were our guests. And now they are our friends forever. We still mourn with the families of the victims," Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu then addressed the pressing issues and said that the peace talks aimed at ending the conflict in Syria next week would be a key element in stemming the refugee influx to Europe.

"We hope that the upcoming peace talks in Syria so that the refugee crisis, the flow of refugee will diminish, and they will be integrated as best as possible. So it won't become a human tragedy," he said.

Davutoglu also said that Turkey has been doing its best to stem illegal migration to Europe but would keep its “open-door” policy for refugees fleeing the war in Syria.

"The refugee issue has created a new situation," he said.

"We also have now the problem of Syrian refugees coming from third countries. Because those coming directly into Turkey are those who want to save their lives. And we have an open-door policy for them which will continue."

Merkel also stated Austria's decision to cap the number of refugees and tighten border controls, by saying that unilateral measures by European Union member states would not solve the refugee crisis, which requires a joint effort.

"I am deeply convinced that the issue of illegal migration can only be solved with cooperation, if we work on the causes of migration, and that we have a great interest within the European Union to preserve the Schengen zone. And means that unilateral decisions by individual (EU) countries will bring us any further but we need a pan-European solution," she said.

TRTWorld and agencies