Conte, Merkel discuss common issues

By Baris Seckin

ROME (AA) – Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte held a joint press conference Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in which they expressed support for Turkey’s security concerns in Syria.

The two leaders met to discuss common issues between the two countries including migration, employment and the European Union.

During the conference, Conte emphasized NATO’s importance as a political partner.

“If my memory does not mislead me, we must effectively manage this longest-lived, most powerful military alliance in history. NATO should not lose its role as a political platform.

“As a NATO member and with its position in the Coalition Against Daesh, Turkey must play a role to ensure the stability of the region,” said Conte, adding they believe in a political solution in Syria and understand Turkey’s security concerns.

He noted that a conference will be held in Berlin on Libya which aims to encourage a rapid ceasefire there and resumption of the political process and said they have been working for its successful conclusion.

Merkel also touched on the Malta agreement signed on Sept. 23 between Germany, Italy, France and Malta to relocate asylum seekers who had been rescued at sea from the central Mediterranean.

“This is a positive message, but there is still much to be done to achieve a fair distribution of tasks in Europe.

Merkel underlined the importance of cooperation with the Libyan coast guard to prevent irregular migration and added that they should meet with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and non-governmental organizations to ensure that human rights in Libya are guaranteed.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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