“The two governments see migrants as a threat to regional stability. The prime minister took the decision to do everything to reduce the number of migrants,” Merkel said.
“Solidarity and aid must be organized differently and that’s why illegal immigration must be transformed into legal immigration. We are working towards that intensively.”
The two also promised to improve conditions in camps in Turkey and to try to bring about a peace deal in Syria. Germany saw an unprecedented 1.1 million asylum seekers arrive last year.
Many of them were fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and most have come through Turkey. Merkel has described Turkey as crucial to any solution to the crisis.
In exchange, Turkey could count on German support for easing by October EU visa requirements for Turkish nationals visiting the Schengen area.