Germany seeks cooperation with Turkey on refugee crisis
Germany’s interior minister on Sunday called for closer cooperation with Turkey to handle the refugee and migration crisis.
Horst Seehofer said in an exclusive interview with Welt am Sonntag weekly that they were not in a position to address migration and refugee issues alone by the arrangements of the past. “There I would like to further strengthen our cooperation with Turkey. I would direct my efforts to that,” he stressed.
GERMANY TO ENSURE TURKEY'S EFFORTS
He praised Turkey’s efforts for Syrian refugees and reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to the EU-Turkey agreement, which he said has been successful so far.
Asked by the Welt am Sonntag about possible additional financial support to Turkey for the needs of the Syrian refugees, Seehofer said this issue would be discussed among EU member states. "I will do my part to ensure that Turkey’s efforts, which has been in the interest of us all, would be considered appropriately," he said.
The EU-Turkey refugee agreement has been successful in significantly reducing the number of crossings in the Aegean Sea, and preventing the loss of many lives. But the EU’s bureaucratic hurdles and delays to mobilize promised funds led to sharp criticism by Turkish politicians.
The 28-member bloc promised €6 billion ($6.6 billion) of aid for 2016-2019 to improve living conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey. But so far, only €3.71 billion were contracted and €2.57 billion disbursed.