Merkel says Germany needs to work closely with Turkey on Afghan refugee issue
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Germany needs to work closely with Turkey on the issue of Afghan refugees, Bild reported on Aug. 16.
Duvar English - Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Berlin needs to work closely with Ankara on the issue of Afghan refugees after the Taliban seized the country at a lightning speed, Bild reported on Aug. 16.
Germany's immediate focus must be on evacuating up to 10,000 people from Afghanistan for whom it has responsibility, Merkel told party colleagues, warning the fallout from the conflict will last for a very long time.
The remarks, made at a closed-door meeting of her Christian Democrat party on Aug. 16 and relayed by meeting participants, reflect growing concern about bloodshed in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized the capital and proclaimed peace.
"We are witnessing difficult times," Reuters cited Merkel as saying. "Now we must focus on the rescue mission."
Merkel said Germany may need to evacuate as many as 10,000 people from Afghanistan, including 2,500 Afghan support staff as well as human rights activists, lawyers and others whom the government sees as being at risk if they remained in the country.
She also said that Germany should cooperate with countries bordering Afghanistan to support those fleeing from the country now, adding: "This topic will keep us busy for a very long time."
According to Bild, one of the countries she mentioned was Turkey.
Turkey houses more than 3.6 Syrian refugees and currently faces an Afghan refugee influx over Iran.