Germany pledges 125 million euros for Syrians in Idlib

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged further funds for Syrians in Idlib after a video conference call held with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, French President Emmanuel Macron and Britain's Boris Johnson on March 17 during which they discussed the Syrian refugee crisis, Libya and the coronavirus pandemic.

"Joint action against coronavirus, resolution of Syria crisis, humanitarian assistance to Idlib, refugee flow, developments in Libya, the situation in the EU and our relations with the EU," were the issues discussed at the meeting, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tweeted on March 17.

The mini-summit was initially planned to take place in Istanbul but was held virtually instead because of the spread of the novel coronavirus

Following the meeting, Merkel said they will provide 125 million euros for the Syrians in Idlib. She also signaled Berlin's green light to launch talks on upgrading the Customs Union with Turkey. European leaders called on Erdoğan to ease the pressure on the Greek border as well.

Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Merkel said they had a "very useful discussion" on the recent developments and humanitarian situation in northwestern Syria.

"Germany has earmarked 25 million euros [$27,498] plus 100 million euros [$109,994] for humanitarian assistance, and this must now quickly reach to the people," she said, referring to millions of displaced Syrians who moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in recent months.

The German Chancellor praised the March 5 agreement between Turkey and Russia to restore a fragile cease-fire in Idlib, after weeks-long clashes between the conflicting parties. "We very much welcome a temporary ceasefire," Merkel...

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