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German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays final visit to Turkey

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays final visit to Turkey

Merkel and Erdogan to hold talks in Istanbul today
Photo: AA photo

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will today visit Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to further enhance their bilateral relations.

On what is likely to be her last visit to the country as the German Chancellor following the recent election, Merkel and Erdogan are expected to discuss major issues of importance to Turkey: cooperation with the EU in the areas of refugees, migration, and multilateral funding. While Merkel is visiting as caretaker chancellor, she has played a pivotal role in managing Europe’s relationship with Turkey over her 16 years in office. During the 2014-15 migration crisis, Merkel was central in getting Turkey to agree to increase its refugee intake in exchange for EU funds.

Despite an at times strained relationship, the cooperation that Merkel has helped build is critical for Europe as it faces increasing regional uncertainty over issues like Afghanistan. Thus, Germany’s role within Europe and its partnership with Turkey will unlikely change in the years ahead, but the next chancellor has big shoes to fill.

Merkel’s visit takes place ahead of an EU leaders’ summit next week. Her meeting with Erdogan will likely reaffirm issues on security and migration, which she will report back in Brussels the following week.

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