The two leaders also discussed regional issues and the ongoing migration crisis during a telephone conversation on Thursday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (AA)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday that she would work to speed up the transfer of financial assistance promised by the European Union (EU) to Turkey as part of a refugee deal, Turkish presidential sources said.

The two leaders also agreed in a phone call to accelerate an improvement in bilateral ties once a new German government has been formed, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

A March 2016 EU-Turkey deal to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea included a $7.07 billion aid package to help Turkey care for millions of refugees hosted in the country.

President Erdogan and German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed the need to improve ties between their countries and take mutual steps to that end during a phone call on Wednesday.

Aside from bilateral relations, the sources said, Erdogan also briefed Steinmeier about a summit on Syria’s conflict held by Turkey, Russia and Iran in the southern Russian city of Sochi on Nov. 22.

Turkey now hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has spent nearly $30 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

The EU promised to initially allocate $2 billion for projects to support Syrian refugees, but Turkey has so far received only $943 million and has complained about the EU’s failure to keep its promises.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies