Idea of early Syria elections ‘provocative': French president


European Council President Donald Tusk, who on Friday held talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, will chair an emergency EU summit with Turkey on Monday aimed at strengthening cooperation to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

German federal police have said that migrant arrivals into Germany have fallen sharply in recent days, due mainly to bad weather and a bottleneck as border restrictions by countries further south along the migrant route kicked in. Now that Greece is having to cope with 32,000 migrants, Mrs Merkel says the European Union can not let Greece “plunge into crisis”.
Thomson ReutersResidents inspect the damage as a man fixes damaged electricity cables at a site hit by shelling in the rebel-controlled area of Khan Sheikhoun, in Idlib provincePARIS (Reuters) – The idea that elections should take place in Syria in the coming months is “provocative” and “unrealistic”, French President Francois Hollande said on Friday, highlighting a key difference over the Syrian peace process between Europe and Russian Federation.
“Unilateral solutions do not help us”, Merkel said, adding Europe needs to work closely with Turkey to stop the flow of migrants, and also to secure its outer borders.
Mr Hollande said France will provide a ship to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation force deployed in the Aegean Sea – between Turkey and Greece – to help Europe’s external border control.
EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete on Friday told the dissenting ministers they were “welcome to be more ambitious” but warned that not all member states were on board for new European targets.
More than 1.2 million people applied for asylum for the first time in the European Union previous year, more than double the number in 2014.
While Seehofer said he supported Orban’s position of tightening national border controls as long as so many migrants were at the EU’s external borders, both leaders said their meeting was not an effort to weaken Merkel or her government.
“France has committed to take 30,000 refugees… but no more”, Valls said.