Report: Spring stance brings Turkey, UK closer
A British Parliamentary Committee has said in a report that Turkey’s stance on the Arab Spring has brought it closer to Western countries, while supporting the U.K. government’s efforts to cultivate Turkey as a “strategic partner.” The report also recommended the continuation of U.K. support for Turkey’s EU membership bid.
The British Foreign Affairs Committee released its report on “U.K.-Turkey relations and Turkey’s regional role,” on its website yesterday, examining the policies of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). “The process of responding to the ‘Arab Spring’ has brought Turkey closer to its Western allies, including the U.K., while also demonstrating the utility of Ankara’s strong relations with the Arab League,” said the report. The report also denied that Turkey had made a foreign policy shift away from the West. Turkey may add value to the U.K. as “a foreign policy partner” because of the differences in their foreign policies, as long as they have the same goals, said the report. The committee supported the British government for identifying Turkey as a “strategic partner” for the U.K., and labeled Turkey an “inspiration” for Middle Eastern and North African countries, rather than a specific “model.” Meanwhile, the Committee supported Turkey’s continued bid for EU membership, which would provide a strong basis for the further development of U.K.-Turkey bilateral relations, it said.
Alternative approach to Cyprus: report
On the Cyprus issue, the Committee recommended the British government to “consider whether any alternative approach to the Cyprus situation, by itself and the international community, might be more likely than previous efforts to yield a settlement,” if no solution is reached by the end of 2012. It also urged the use of prospective gas revenues to facilitate a settlement. The report called for easing the UK’s visa regulations for Turkey. k HDN