Turkey wants to take ties with EU to a new phase: Albayrak
Turkey wants to take its relations with the European Union to a new phase in a period when its trade with the bloc is more important, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has said during a press conference with his French counterpart, during which both sides underlined the importance of Turkish-EU ties.
Speaking at a news conference with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in Paris on Aug. 27, Albayrak said recent unilateral steps taken by the United States had shown relations between Turkey and the EU, namely France, were more important than ever.
“We want to take relations with the European Union to a new phase,” Albayrak said, adding that Turkey wanted to increase trade with France—now at 14 billion euros—to 20 billion euros.
The French minister encouraged Turkey to use all available economic policy tools to ensure sustainable growth.
“It is in everyone’s interest, in France, in Turkey, in Europe, that the situation stabilizes in Turkey,” Le Maire told reporters in the wake of a significant hit to the Turkish Lira amid strained ties between Turkey and the U.S. over the trial of pastor Andrew Brunson.
Structural reforms a ‘must’ for Turkey
Le Maire said Albayrak had stressed his country’s commitment to structural reforms.
“France encourages Turkish authorities to give this absolute priority ... by using all the leverage available through economic policy,” he noted.
Recent steps taken by the United States against Turkey are politically motivated and could serve to ultimately bolster regional terrorism and the refugee crisis, Albayrak also said during the press conference.
“We talked about the recent trade sanctions by the United States … Such decisions of sanctions will negatively affect regional stability and bolster both regional terror and the refugee crisis,” he said, adding that Turkey and France decided to move together over these issues.
Joint steps at WTO
He also noted both ministers talked about moving together regarding the trade decisions against Turkey and the EU in violation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) rules.
“We are on the same page regarding Iran with France,” Albayrak also said.
The Turkish minister also noted recent steps by the U.S. are isolating it from its allies.
“In this period, the [U.S.] dollar is losing its status as a global trade tool,” he added.