Merkel to host Turkey's PM for talks next Friday

AFP , Friday 15 Jan 2016

Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for talks next Friday, her spokesman said, with discussions to centre on the suicide attack in Istanbul that claimed 10 German lives.

Tuesday's "attack in Istanbul will play a central role" in the talks, said Steffen Seibert, spokesman for Merkel.

The two leaders will also discuss issues on both countries' priority lists, including their fight against terrorism and a record refugee influx to Europe.

The talks come as part of a regular meeting of the two countries' cabinets, including interior ministers, foreign ministers and defence ministers from both sides.

Turkey has a special relationship with Germany as the biggest EU economy is not only home to around three million people with Turkish roots, but also its biggest trading partner.

Turkey, which shares a border with war-torn Syria, is also a key player in the current record migrant influx to Europe, with EU countries needing Ankara's help to stem the flow.

It has also stepped up its involvement in the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group, through air strikes as well as the hosting of war planes.

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