German Chancellor Merkel expected to visit Kilis refugee camp in Turkey

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 26.03.2016 12:01
Updated 26.03.2016 12:06
PM Davutoğlu, Merkel speak before a lunch during German-Turkish government consultations at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Jan 22, 2016 (Reuters)
PM Davutoğlu, Merkel speak before a lunch during German-Turkish government consultations at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Jan 22, 2016 (Reuters)

German Chancellor Angel Merkel is expected to visit the southeastern Turkish city of Kilis, which has recently been nominated for a Nobel Prize for hosting Syrian refugees, on April 17.

With a population of 129,000, the town is just a few miles from the Syrian border and is home to about 120,000 Syrian refugees.

City officials sent an invitation to Merkel asking her to participate in a series of ceremonies on April 17, celebrating the openings of projects for Syrian refugees, such as new education and health centers as well as schools in the town. The projects will be financed by the 3 billion euro funding to be provided by the EU.

The invitation to Merkel was reported to be made through two German deputies of Turkish origin, Kilis-born Emine Demirbüken-Wegner and Özcan Mutlu. German officials have notified the Turkish Foreign Ministry that Merkel could join the opening ceremonies in Kilis, Turkish media outlets reported on Saturday.

Prime Miniser Ahmet Davutoğlu will also accompany Merkel throughout her visit, which will be limited to the city of Kilis for now, according to Turkish officials, media outlets said. Turkish and German officials are also expected to review the new EU-Turkey refugee deal during Merkel's visit.

All 28 members of the European Union and Turkish delegation led by PM Davutoğlu agreed on March 18 to close in on an agreement to send thousands of refugees back to Turkey, while the country will receive 3 billion euros to spend on 2.8 million Syrian refugees in the country.

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