Merkel says Erdoğan should not use refugees to express discontent: report

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (not seen) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint press conference following their meeting in Berlin, Germany on September 28, 2018. AFP PHOTOS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she understood that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expected more help from Europe to deal with the refugee crisis, but added he should not use refugees to express his dissatisfaction, Reuters reported.

More than 10,000 migrants, mostly from Syria, other Middle Eastern countries and Afghanistan, have reached Turkey’s land borders with EU states Greece and Bulgaria since Ankara said last Thursday it would stop keeping them in its territory.

“I understand that Turkey is facing a very big challenge regarding Idlib,” Merkel told reporters. “Still, for me it’s inacceptable that he — President Erdoğan and his government — are not expressing this dissatisfaction in a dialogue with us as the European Union, but rather on the backs of the refugees. For me, that’s not the way to go forward.”

Merkel added that the European Union and Turkey should resume talks about their refugee agreement and that Germany was also open to supporting Turkey bilaterally.

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