The European Union leaders on Friday agreed to release the second €3 billion ($3.72 billion) tranche in assistance for Syrian refugees in Turkey.
The EU had pledged €6 billion ($7.44 billion) in funding for the refugees, and promised to mobilize the second €3 billion ($3.72 billion) tranche by the end of 2018.
Merkel said Turkey has done a lot for more than 3 million Syrian refugees it has hosted since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
On Thursday, Italy had raised objections to releasing the additional €3 billion aid.
The Italian government demanded stronger solidarity from its EU partners regarding migration.
“The European Council agrees on launching the second tranche of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey […],” Thursday’s summit conclusions said.
Turkey hosts some 3.5 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world. Ankara says it has spent around $25 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.