Turkey, UK to upgrade free trade deal to boost economic ties


Turkey and Britain are working to upgrade their free trade agreement as a means to boost bilateral economic ties, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

The two countries are working to expand the scope of the free trade agreement.

“We have started work on the issue,” Cavusoglu said at a joint press conference with his British counterpart, Liz Truss, in the capital Ankara.

Cavusoglu was referring to a free trade agreement signed in December 2020.

According to him, Britain was the third-largest destination of Turkish exports in 2021, following Germany and U.S.

He called Britain a strategic partner.

Also, the British foreign secretary, Truss, said that the two countries, both NATO members, should have better relations.

Truss hailed Turkey’s efforts to open a maritime corridor to export grain from Ukraine.

Truss said that the grain crisis would have devastating consequences if not solved within the next month.

Britain recently lifted all restrictions on arms exports to Turkey as the two countries deepened dialogue after the Ukrainian crisis.

Britain previously suspended defence exports to Turkey after the Turkish army launched a military operation in northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in 2019.

Turkey sees the YPG group as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also visited Turkey on Thursday to promote cooperation in the defence industry, according to Cavusoglu.

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