"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."
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.