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Germany’s Angela Merkel flies to Istanbul for Libya talks with President Erdogan


Germany’s Angela Merkel flies to Istanbul for Libya talks with President Erdogan

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Photo: Turkish Presidency

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul today to discuss the conflicts in the Middle East/North Africa region as it pertains to refugee migration to Europe.

A 2016 migration deal allotted Turkey $6 billion in exchange for its housing refugees to stem the flow of migration into Europe; the country currently hosts more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees. Ankara is concerned that the $6 billion, the final installment of which is to be paid this year, will mark the end of Europe’s financial commitment to Turkey on the migrant issue. Though there was talk in October of providing additional funding, those plans were scuttled following Ankara’s invasion of northern Syria. Turkey’s increasing involvement in Libya and energy conflicts with EU states further hamper cooperation.

Per the terms of the agreement, the EU is likely to resettle tens of thousands of Syrians with documentation from Turkey in the coming years. However, migration remains a hot-button issue in Europe. As such, though it will take months of negotiations, expect EU lawmakers to agree to another tranche of funding in the medium to long term to ensure the lion’s share of refugees settle in Turkey.

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Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

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