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Turkish president, British premier discuss bilateral relations over phone

In a phone conversation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on ways to improve bilateral relations as well as on regional issues, said diplomatic sources on March 8. 

The two leaders discussed several issues, including tourism, defense, agriculture, investment, COVID-19s, and ways to develop Turkish-U.K. ties, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

During the conversation, Erdoğan said that Turkey welcomes the U.K.’s efforts on the Cyprus issue, adding that a two-state solution would result in a win-win situation not only for the two sides on the island, but for everyone in terms of new opportunities for regional cooperation.

Turkey is continuing its positive attitude in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean as well as on Cyprus, he added, stressing that despite Greece’s provocative actions and rhetoric, Turkey has maintained its calm attitude and determination to continue exploratory talks.

Turkey and Britain, along with Greece, are the three guarantor countries for the island of Cyprus.

Next month the U.N. is due to hold informal 5+1 talks on the Cyprus issue, including the two parties on island along with the three guarantor countries, plus the U.N.

Turkey is ready to host the Turkish-British Tatlıdil Forum in the second half of 2021, pandemic conditions permitting, Erdoğan said, adding that he hopes the tourist season will begin in April safely and without barriers.

The Turkish-U.K. free trade pact signed late last year was a turning point in bilateral ties, he explained, stressing that steps in this context will help achieve a bilateral trade volume of $20 billion.

The historic free trade pact, covering potential trade worth more than £18 billion ($24.3 billion), has been in force since Jan. 1.

The Tatlidil Forum, founded in 2011, brings together leading figures from the fields of academia, business, media, and politics to strengthen relations between Turkey and the U.K.

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