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Merkel, Faymann call on other countries to step up amid refugee crisis

Angela Merkel and Werner Faymann have called for EU states to step up to help refugees. They pushed for the so-called 'hotspots' to be implemented and also suggested closer cooperation with Turkey.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Austrian counterpart, Werner Faymann, on Thursday praised each other's close cooperation, while calling on other countries to do more to help the growing refugee crisis.

Merkel also expressed solidarity with France following the attacks in Paris on Friday.

"This is an attack on our basic values, on our way of life, on freedom... and all of the freedom-loving countries on earth must stand together in all areas to find the perpetrators and also to protect and secure our way of life," she said.

Merkel then went on to thank Faymann for his partnership, as both Germany and Austria continue to work closely to mitigate the ongoing refugee crisis.

The German chancellor also emphasized, however, that other EU countries, especially those on the bloc's external border, must do more to stem the flow of migrants.

"The hotspots need to be put quickly into place in Italy and Greece," she said, referring to registration centers intended to screen incoming migrants before they enter the EU.

'No easy solution'

Faymann also called on other countries to play a larger role in the crisis.

The Austrian chancellor acknowledged there was no easy solution to the refugee situation. Among the more controversial options he and Merkel were pursuing was closer cooperation with Turkey, including the payment of 3 million euro ($3.2 million) to Ankara.

Faymann said while such a deal with Turkey had not yet been reached, it was still on the table.

As for the refugees themselves, Faymann emphasized that "they are victims, not perpetrators."

blc/sms (dpa, Reuters, epd)

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