Merkel, Erdogan open new Turkish-German university campus

Istanbul (dpa) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel wished students success as they cut a blue ribbon to open a new Turkish-German University campus in Istanbul.

“I, as one of the hosts, wish you a lifelong period full of successes,” Erdogan said.

He started his speech by welcoming “my dear friend Mrs Merkel.” Both noted that the university was a good example of the cooperation between their countries.

“I hope that the Turkish-German University becomes a symbol of Turkish-German friendship,” Erdogan said.

Merkel said that education is “valuable,” not only for the integration of refugees in their host countries, but also as a prerequisite for rebuilding their home countries upon return.

Speaking alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Erdogan thanked her for hosting a Libya peace conference, but cautioned that the success of the resulting 55-point peace plan depends wholly on implementation on the ground.

Continuing attacks in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, showed who really wants peace, Erdogan said, referring to military strongman Khalifa Haftar whom he called a “putschist.”

“[In light of these facts] we hope that the international community does not fall into the mistake it made in Syria, in Libya,” he added.

Merkel brought Libya back onto the European agenda at a summit last week, as Turkey and Russia play a more assertive role in the escalating civil war in which they back opposing sides.

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