Pts. Eyl 23rd, 2019

Turkish president, German chancellor talk over phone

– Erdogan, Merkel discuss bilateral relations, regional issues, says Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate

By Zafer Fatih Beyaz

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke Wednesday to German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the phone, according to Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate.

Erdogan and Merkel discussed migration, developments in Syria, Libya and bilateral relations, the directorate said in a statement.

Turkey has been pressing the EU — of which Germany is a powerhouse member — to fulfill its obligations to do more to help in the migrant and refugee crisis.

Erdogan had earlier warned that Turkey cannot deal with a renewed migration wave from conflict-torn Idlib, Syria, saying if the EU does not step up, Turkey might open the doors for migrants to cross into Europe.

The president had also said that Turkey so far spent around $40 billion for refugees, while support from the EU to Turkey totaled only around €3 billion ($3.34 billion), breaking the EU's pledges in a 2016 deal with Turkey to stem irregular migration.

Turkey currently hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world.