ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey and Germany agreed on Monday on a set of measures to try to tackle the Syrian refugee crisis, including a joint diplomatic initiative aimed at halting attacks against Syria's largest city.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that she is "not just appalled but horrified" by the suffering caused by bombing in Syria, largely by Russia.
Merkel said that Turkey and Germany will push at the United Nations for everyone to keep to a U.N. resolution passed in December that calls on all sides to halt without delay attacks on the civilian population.
Merkel, who was in Ankara for talks on how to reduce the influx of migrants into Europe, is under pressure at home to cut the number of refugee arrivals after nearly 1.1 million people registered as asylum-seekers in Germany last year.
Merkel said: "We have been, in the past few days, not just appalled but horrified by what has been caused in the way of human suffering for tens of thousands of people by bombing — primarily from the Russian side."
"This situation must be brought to an end quickly," Merkel said.
Said Davutoglu: "No one should excuse the Russian air attacks that amount to ethnic massacres by saying 'Turkey takes care of the Syrian refugees anyway.' "
Davutoglu said he and Merkel had agreed that an emergency aid group from the two countries would help supply the refugees at the border.