Speech

PM meeting with President Erdogan: 28 January 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May met with President Erdogan of Turkey, discussing defence and the UK-Turkey bilateral relationship.

Thank you very much Mr President and thank you for the invitation to join you for these discussions that we have had today – and very fruitful discussions between us.

Turkey is one of the UK’s oldest friends. Our relations stretch back over 400 years.

But there is much that we can do in the future to build on that relationship together.

I am proud that the UK stood with you on 15 July last year in defence of your democracy. Now it is important that Turkey sustains that democracy by maintaining the rule of law and upholding its international human rights obligations as the government has undertaken to do.

We have discussed, as the President has said, a number of important issues today from Cyprus, where we are committed to playing our parts for an early settlement, to Syria, where we are working together to fight Daesh and create the conditions for peace.

We are also agreeing to step up our work together on aviation security with a programme of shared training and information exchange.

You mentioned, Mr President, the opportunities for enhancing trade between our 2 countries and we discussed that. We both want to build on our existing links and I believe that doing so will be to the benefit of both our countries and for the prosperity of both our nations.

And we have agreed we will have a joint working group to prepare the ground for our post-Brexit trading relationship.

So we have covered quite a range of subjects today. What has underpinned our discussions has been the opportunity for Turkey and the UK to build on our existing relations which, as I say, have stretched back many years, to our mutual benefit for the future.

So thank you and I look forward to maintaining these talks with your Prime Minister later today.