Merkel to visit Turkey Sunday to discuss terror, Syria
Germany's Angela Merkel will visit Turkey Sunday to discuss terrorism, the war in Syria and the refugee crisis, her spokesman said, after bombs killed 97 people in Ankara at the weekend.
The chancellor would meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for talks on "the joint battle against terrorism, the situation in Syria and managing the refugee crisis," said Steffen Seibert on Monday.
Merkel had reacted with "great dismay" to the double suicide bombing, the deadliest attack in modern Turkey's history, and had condemned it as "a particularly cowardly act aimed directly against civil rights, democracy and peace", Seibert said.
She had sent a condolence letter to Davutoglu and telephoned Erdogan at the weekend.
A German foreign ministry spokesman said Turkey was a "key country" to help Europe manage its record migrant influx, including the 800,000 to one million people expected to reach Germany this year.
"Turkey is a large country, a NATO country bordering ISIS (the Islamic State jihadist group) and all the crises in the Middle East," said the spokesman, Martin Schaefer, at a press briefing.
"Its political stability and constitutional order make it a very important anchor of stability in the whole region," he said.
© 2015 AFP