Merkel pledges to Turkey’s Erdogan sped-up refugee aid

Germany's chancellor told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late Thursday that she will work to speed up the delivery of promised EU aid for Syrians in Turkey, according to presidential sources.

In a phone conversation between Erdogan and Angela Merkel, regional developments concerning Syria and bilateral relations were discussed, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media

Erdogan also told Merkel about last week's Sochi summit on Syria.

Last Wednesday, Erdogan met Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi to discuss Syria.

Furthermore, Erdogan and Merkel discussed the importance of cooperation in the fight against all terror groups, with primary emphasis on the fight against the terrorist PKK group.

The PKK -- recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU -- has taken thousands of lives in decades of attacks in Turkey, including 1,200 since July 2015 alone.

The two leaders also agreed to accelerate high-level bilateral contacts after Germany finishes forming a government.

A March 2016 EU-Turkey deal to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea included a Euros 6 billion ($7.07 billion) aid package to help Turkey care for millions of refugees hosted in the country.

Turkey now hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has spent nearly $30 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

The EU promised to initially allocate Euros 3 billion for projects to support Syrian refugees, but Turkey has so far received only Euros 800 million ($943 million), and has complained about the EU's failure to keep its promises.

Source: Anadolu Agency