January 29, 2016 / 1:56 PM / in 2 years

Merkel says implementation of EU-Turkey deal 'urgent'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi address a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday urged rapid implementation of the European Union’s deal with Turkey, saying progress was needed to get a grip on the refugee crisis.

“We spoke about the refugee question of course, on the one hand about the EU-Turkey agenda, which must be implemented urgently because we need progress,” Merkel said after talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Italy has blocked a European Union plan to provide Turkey with 3 billion euros ($3.26 billion) in aid in exchange for a commitment to stem the flow of migrants into Europe.

Reporting by Paul Carrel; Writing by Noah Barkin

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