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    FILE - In this Sunday, June 14, 2015 file photo, Syrian refugees are helped into Turkey after breaking the border fence and crossing from Syria in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey

    EU, Turkey Should Share Migrant Crisis Burden - Merkel

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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europe and Turkey have to share responsibility for handling the migrant crisis.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) – The European Union and Turkey, a key migrant transit country, should share responsibility for handling the migrant crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.

    "It is necessary that Europe and Turkey share responsibility. We need to protect our external borders, we need to fight smugglers [and] illegality. We need to find legitimate ways for people to enter the EU," Merkel told reporters in Brussels.

    Expressing understanding toward Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s absence at the European Council after deadly car bombings in Ankara on Wednesday, Merkel nonetheless argued for the "European-Turkish agenda to hold priority."

    Merkel is due to meet French President Francois Hollande and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte ahead of the EU Council to find common agreement on solutions to the crisis.

    On Wednesday, the Steering Committee of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey mandated the European Commission to implement the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan’s 2016 contribution of $1.6 billion. Brussels pledged $3.3 billion overall under the two-year action plan to support millions of Syrian refugees housed in Turkey.


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    migrant crisis, refugees, European Council, European Union, Angela Merkel, Germany, Turkey
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