BERLIN (Sputnik) — Since 2015, hundreds of thousands of migrants have been trying to reach the European Union to escape violence and poverty of their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
In March, the European Union and Turkey made an agreement, which stipulated Ankara taking back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the EU countries via Turkey. In exchange, Syrian refugees stationed in Turkey would be relocated to the European Union on a one-for-one basis. Since then the pace of the deal's implementation has been repeatedly criticized by the officials in both Turkey and the 28-nation bloc.
"We are carrying out close work within the framework of the EU-Turkey agreement [on refugees], the process is not implemented as fast as we would like," Merkel said during a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
She added that the two parties to the agreement were in constant contact on the issue and expressed hope that they would "gradually move forward" in the process of the implementation.
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