- Title: Boris Johnson wants 'jumbo' free trade deal with Turkey
- Date: 27th September 2016
- Summary: ANKARA, TURKEY (SEPTEMBER 27, 2016) (REUTERS) BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON WALKING TO PODIUM WITH TURKISH COUNTERPART MEVLUT CAVUSOGLU FOR A JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHER DURING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "I am very pleased that we have agreed that the joint economic and trade committee will launch its work as soon as possible, and we can begin the preparatory work for what I hope will be a new jumbo free trade deal between the UK and Turkey. Because after all, as you rightly say, Mevlut, where we maybe disentangling ourselves from the treaties of the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe." MEDIA AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "We obviously have a very similar position on Syria, where I think it is the view of my government very strongly, the view of most people, I think, now in the world, that the overwhelming responsibility for what is happening, the carnage that is being suffered by the people of Aleppo lies with the Assad (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) regime and their supporters, their puppeteers in Russia and indeed in Iran. And I think the most important thing now, is that there should be a ceasefire and an end to the bombing and I know that that is something that Turkey also strongly supports." MEDIA AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "We talked about a Cyprus settlement and the leadership that I think is being shown by both parties there on that island, I think there are grounds for cautious optimism but there is still some way to go there and I think obviously that is something that we hope to be working on together, with you. And of course we talked about all the optimistic things that we can do together." PHOTOGRAPHER DURING NEWS CONFERENCE JOHNSON AND CAVUSOGLU SHAKING HANDS AND LEAVING ROOM
- Embargoed: 12th October 2016 14:33
- Keywords: Turkey Britain EU trade economy UK Syria Cyprus
- Location: ANKARA, TURKEY
- City: ANKARA, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy
- Reuters ID: LVA00151CEQ87
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Tuesday (September 27) he hoped for a "jumbo" free trade deal with Turkey, as he sought to bolster ties with the European Union candidate country after Britain's vote to leave the bloc.
While Ankara is not a member of the EU, it aspires to join the bloc and has a customs union with it.
On his first official visit to Turkey, Johnson also said he backed Ankara's policy on Syria, where Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State.
On the topic of Cyprus, Johnson said there were grounds for "cautious optimism" in peace talks aimed at finding a settlement for the divided island, which Turkish troops invaded 42 years ago in response to a brief Greek-inspired coup.
Diplomats have previously said the current round of talks is the best chance in generations for ending a conflict that has become a perpetual irritant between NATO allies Greece and Turkey, and an obstacle to Turkey joining the European Union.
Turkey's input is vital for solving the Cyprus conundrum, one of Europe's most enduring conflicts.
The British foreign secretary said his hosts had not brought up his winning entry in a "President Tayyip Erdogan Offensive Poetry competition" earlier this year, which involved a goat, wild oats and the Turkish leader.
A senior Turkish official said Ankara would draw a line under Johnson's past comments, but said relations would be damaged if he repeated such insults.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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