October 15, 2015 / 11:14 PM / 2 years ago

Merkel says three billion euro EU aid for Turkey in discussion

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a news conference after an European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, October 16, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union states are considering financial aid to Turkey of some 3 billion euros to help it keep Syrian refugees on its soil and discourage them from pouring into Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

Speaking after an EU summit which discussed cooperation with Ankara, Merkel said the leaders had agreed to revitalise Turkey’s EU accession process and open new negotiating chapters without deciding which ones.

Since Turkey had already spent more than 7 billion euros on accommodating more than two million Syrian refugees and received only 1 billion euros in external aid, it made sense for the EU to make an equivalent contribution in the coming years, she said. But no sum had been fixed and much would depend on the sequencing of practical steps on both sides.

Writing by Paul Taylor; Editing by Alastair Macdonald

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