BERLIN (Sputnik) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that she would push for the implementation of the European-Turkish plan to tackle the ongoing massive refugee crisis at the upcoming EU summit.
"On Thursday and Friday I will make every effort to ensure that the European-Turkish agenda, European-Turkish approach becomes the way we must go forward," Merkel said at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin.
In late November, the European Union and Turkey approved a joint plan to counter excessive migration into the bloc, under which EU member states agreed to give some 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) to Ankara to help it assist migrants on its territory and fast track negotiations for its EU accession.
Berlin is also expected to negotiate in favor of intensified Schengen border controls, the faster construction of centers to receive refugees in Greece and Italy, as well as the allocation of refugees among different states at the upcoming summit of EU leaders.
Germany has become a key destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees and immigrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa since the start of 2015. Last year it registered 1.1 million refugees, nearly five times more than the number registered in 2014, according to the German Interior Ministry’s estimates.