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Germany's Merkel tells Turkey to meet all terms for visa-free travel

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By Euronews
Germany's Merkel tells Turkey to meet all terms for visa-free travel

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Turkey it must fulfill all the conditions set by the EU before its citizens get visa free travel to the bloc.

Turkey’s anti-terror laws remain a key area of dispute, and the German leader demanded changes to prevent the current deal with Ankara from being delayed.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul Merkel said: “We’ve often spoken about these issues, but there remain questions. And we will monitor developments closely, but our questions have still not been answered.”

Merkel also voiced deep concern over the Turkish parliament’s recent decision to strip MPs of their immunity.

Critics fear the law could be used to sideline the pro-Kurdish opposition.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, called on Europe to do more to help Syrian refugees in his country.

“The existing system is unfortunately insufficient to meet urgent humanitarian needs. It’s not capable of providing the support people need. What we also see is that only a few states are shouldering this burden,’‘ he said.

President Erdogan has asked Europe to welcome more of the three million refugees currently living in camps in Turkey.

EU figures show that only around 180 Syrians have been resettled from Turkey since Brussels struck a deal with Ankara in March.