President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the ongoing Syrian crisis in a phone call, presidential sources said Thursday.
The two leaders also discussed regional issues and the ongoing migration crisis, upon which Merkel stated that she would try to accelerate the promised EU disbursements for hosting Syrian refugees.
Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal in March 2016, to discourage irregular migration across the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of the nearly 3 million refugees in Turkey. The March 2016 deal employs a one-for-one formula under which failed asylum seekers in Europe are returned to Turkey while Syrian refugees are resettled in EU states in a quota system.
Syria has been locked in a deadly civil war since early 2011, after the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with brutality, leading to the death of thousands of people and to the displacement of more than 10 million others.