German Chancellor Angela Merkel referred to the tension in the East Mediterranean in a speech to the German Parliament but continued to insist on EU-Turkey cooperation.
“One can not imagine how thin the line is between military conflict and a peaceful settlement,” said Merkel, referring to the recent “serious” tension in the East Mediterranean between that Turkey began against Greece and Cyprus.
In the run-up to tomorrow’s European Council meeting, which will discuss the EU’s relations with Turkey as a whole, Merkel, speaking to the Federal Parliament, referred to complaints against Turkey’s human rights records, but praised Turkey’s “amazing and remarkable” performance in hosting refugees, highlighting Turkey is hosting four million refugees.
She of course did not mention that Turkey created most of these refugees by backing and funding terrorist organizations, including ISIS, in Syria.
“We have to weigh very carefully how to resolve the tensions and how to strengthen our co-operation on refugees and on the humane treatment of refugees,” she said.
Following her speech, Merkel referred to the recent events at the Moria migrant camp in Lesvos. Criticizing Greece, she said “in recent days we have seen horrible images regarding the treatment of refugees. And not from Turkey, I would like to emphasize, but from Lesvos, from an EU member state.”
“It is important,” she stressed, “that a pilot refugee camp will be set up in Lesvos, which will be largely managed by the EU. While supporting the need for an immediate German response to provide humanitarian aid to Lesvos.”
In this context, the Chancellor referred to European asylum policy.
In her view, refugees will occupy Europe for decades, hence the need to pursue a single European asylum and immigration policy. Merkel thanked the Commission for its proposal last week.
As she stressed, “the question of how to implement it is a cornerstone for the cohesion of Europe. If a common refugee base is not found, then this will affect the EU’s capacity to act.”