İn updated strategic partnership document, Turkey and Britain vow to boost relations
Turkey and Britain agreed to work together more closely to boost the economy, combat terrorism, address regional conflicts and push Turkey's European Union bid, under the updated strategic partnership document signed Tuesday by their leaders. The pact was signed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his British counterpart David Cameron, paying his first trip to Turkey while in office early this week. The document tightens the strong bonds of alliance between the two countries and encourages them to cooperate on a wide range of global challenges. According to the document, Turkey and Britain are committed to reviewing their bilateral relationship on an annual basis. Reciprocal visits to enhance bilateral relations in all fields will be intensified in the period ahead, the document says. Stating that the two countries commit to working together as G-20 members, and major European trading nations, to overcome the global financial crisis, and to increasing bilateral trade and investment, it says progress will be driven by the annual Turkish-British Joint Economic and Trade Committee. On Turkey's EU accession bid, it says the two countries commit to advancing the clear case for Turkish membership in the European Union. "Turkey will actively pursue its accession and reform program," it says. "The United Kingdom will champion Turkey's accession process, and support Turkey to meet the accession criteria." It underlines the two countries' commitment to tackle all forms of terrorism and organized crime, saying, "Efforts to bring an end to the international terrorist threat, including that of the PKK, as well as combating organized crime and the proliferation threat will be driven collectively by the annual ministerial counter-terrorism dialogue and the Bosphorus Group of operational leads." On regional peace and stability, it says, "We commit to regular, sustained and substantive engagement at all levels to support progress on resolving regional conflicts and promoting stability, especially in the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Western Balkans, Central Asia, the South Caucasus and the Indian subcontinent." On the Cyprus issue, it says the two countries commit to working for a Cyprus settlement, based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the joint statements of the two leaders on Cyprus during the current round of negotiations.