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UK committee releases report on ties with Turkey

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A U.K. parliamentary committee report on Saturday described Turkey as an “essential partner” that “deserves our support”.

The two nations’ trade and defense relations should be strengthened, especially after the U.K. leaves the EU, according to the foreign affairs committee of the lower House of Commons.

The 79-page advisory report also touches on strategic partnership in the face of mounting security challenges.

“Turkey is an essential partner facing a volatile period. It needs and deserves our support,” the report said.

“We support the construction of a ‘strategic’ relationship between the UK and Turkey. Both the UK and Turkish governments emphasise to us their aim to enhance their trade ties, and their defence and security co-operation,” it added.

The committee welcomed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)’s condemnation of the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey. The FCO is the foreign ministry of the U.K. government.

The report said the FCO broadly accepted Ankara’s version of events, which charges the Fetullah Terrorist Organization -- led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen -- with orchestrating the defeated coup that killed 249 people.

The report called on the government to increase the FCO’s funding to provide an independent analysis of the attempted coup.

The Foreign Affairs Committee, a cross-party formation of 11 lawmakers, visited Turkey in January and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

2017.03.25 / 11:14
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