Merkel to fight for EU-Turkey plan to reduce refugee influx

Berlin, Feb 17 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against national closing-border solutions and vowed to fight for the joint European Union plan to limit flow of refugees to Europe.

Merkel on Tuesday said the success of the upcoming EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday depended on whether EU nations could cooperate with Turkey in the refugee crisis, referring to a joint EU-Turkey action plan agreed in last November, Xinhua reported.

“I will put all my strength on Thursday and Friday to make the European-Turkish approach turns out to be the right way to go on,” said Merkel at a joint press conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

She also warned against the alternative measures suggested by the so-called Visegrad Group of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to close the Greek-Macedonian-Bulgarian border.

Such national solutions would have serious consequences for Greece, the EU and thus the Schengen zone, she said.

Merkel meanwhile said the EU summit was not about agreeing on new quotas for a fair distribution of refugees in Europe.

Merkel has been under huge pressure at home to reduce refugee inflows. She is also increasingly isolated within the EU because many European partners believe that the refugee crisis has been worsened by Germany’s policy to leave its door open for refugees.

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