Migrant crisis tops agenda at German-Turkey meeting

BERLIN (AP) — Europe’s migrant crisis is the main issue at a meeting in Berlin Friday of top officials from Germany and Turkey, with Turkey’s prime minister pressing for more support from the European Union.

Germany saw an unprecedented 1.1 million asylum seekers arrive last year, many of them fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and most have come through Turkey.

While refusing to establish a cap on those allowed in, Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing growing domestic pressure and has focused on working with Turkey to help slow the flow of migrants coming to Europe.

She has urged other EU members to make good on their pledge of giving Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to improve conditions for almost 3 million refugees living there.

But Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told German news agency dpa ahead of the meeting that even 3 billion euros may not be enough because nobody knows how long the crisis will last.

“We’re not begging for money from the EU,” Davutoglu said. “But if there is a serious commitment to sharing the burden, then we have to sit down and talk about all the details of the crisis.”

According to Amnesty International, Turkey hosts the world’s largest number of refugees, including 2.2 million from neighboring Syria, and has been struggling to keep up with the flood.

“Nobody can expect Turkey to carry the entire burden alone,” Davutoglu said.