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Merkel, Erdoğan discuss Syria in phone conversation

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed Syria in a phone call on Thursday, according to Turkish sources.

Erdoğan and Merkel reportedly talked about the deterioration of the situation in Aleppo and efforts to re-implement a truce in the region. Counterterrorism was also an issue in the conversation.

Erdoğan in addition briefed Merkel on Operation Euphrates Shield, the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

In late August Merkel had urged people of Turkish origin living in Germany to take part in German society and not to bring conflicts taking place back in Turkey to Germany.

Relations between Berlin and Ankara, a key partner of the European Union in stemming the flow of migrants to Europe, were already tense after Germany’s parliament branded the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide and a leaked government report that alleged Turkey was a hub for Islamist groups.

Germany is home to about 3 million people of Turkish origin.

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