Merkel to visit Ankara to discuss terror, Syria

German Chancellor Angela Merkel to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara to discuss Syrian war,refugee crises and terrorism

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and the Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu, right, walk on the red carpet during a military welcome ceremony at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.

Following the Russian intervention on Syria and the terror attacks which killed 97 people in Ankara over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in the capital of Turkey, Ankara, on Sunday.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said during the meeting "the joint battle against terrorism, the situation in Syria and managing the refugee crises," will be handled between Turkey and Germany.

German Chancellor will also meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Merkel sent a condolence letter to Davutoglu and telephoned Erdogan over the weekend after the deadly terror attack which killed at least 97 people and injured 246 others in Ankara last Saturday.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Turkey was a "key country" in helping Europe solve its record refugee flow, involving nearly 800,000 to one million asylum seekers expected to arrive Germany by the end of 2015.

"Turkey is a large country, a NATO country bordering ISIS and all the crises in the Middle East," said the spokesman at a press briefing. 

"Its political stability and constitutional order make it a very important anchor of stability in the whole region,"

Turkey is a transit point for refugees aiming to reach European countries from Syria, because of its geography bridging the Middle East and Europe.

Turkey has spent more than €6.75 billion of its own resources on the refugees whose number has exceeded 2.2 million people, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement released on its website that the main objective is to assist Turkey in managing the situation of the massive influx of refugees and preventing uncontrolled migratory flows from Turkey to the EU.

Turkey has been pushing for establishment of a no-fly zone and a safe haven in Syria near the Turkish border for Syrian refugees as thousands of civilians from the war-torn neighboring countries, especially from Syria continue to flee into Turkey to seek refuge from both Syrian regime and ISIS attacks.

More than two million Syrian and Iraqi refugees are currently living in Turkey, while only 250,000 live in the whole of Europe.

A total of 557,899 refugees traveled to Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year, while 2,987 others died in the attempt.



TRTWorld and agencies