Erdoğan’s UK visit ‘to boost ties,’ says British envoy
İZMIR – Anadolu Agency
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s upcoming three-day visit to the United Kingdom will be a step forward to improve ties, said the British ambassador to Turkey on May 10.
Dominick Chilcott, who is in Turkey’s Aegean province of İzmir for official talks, told state-run Anadolu Agency that Erdoğan’s visit to the U.K. “will be a sign of the strength of our relations.”
“It is a great honor to have him and to be able to host him in our capital city. He has important meetings […] he is going to be seeing the prime minister of [the U.K.],” Chilcott said, adding that Queen Elizabeth II would also be among the audience.
“It is his first visit since becoming the president,” he noted.
Chilcott said the visit would boost cooperation between the two countries and would draw attention to the strong ties as the two countries work together in various fields including the fight against terrorism, illegal migration and stopping organized crime.
“And also a possible area, perhaps, is bilateral trade, which is growing very quickly. And of course, we have been talking about tourism,” he added.
Chilcott recalled May’s visit to the Turkish capital Ankara in January 2017 in which a deal was signed between the two countries on the pre-design phase of Turkey’s new fighter jet, the TFX.
“It is possible that there will be a further announcement but these projects, once they start, they take a long time to get going and it is not always clear when is the next point you are going to make the announcement,” he said.
On May 9, Turkish Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said Erdoğan was to attend the closing dinner of the Turkish-British Tatlıdil Forum, which will end on May 13 in Reading, southern England.
The Tatlıdil Forum, established in 2011, gathers leading figures from the fields of academia, business, the media, and politics to strengthen relations between Turkey and the U.K.