Turkey, US relations 'will strengthen with investment and trade', Erdogan pledges

Turkey, US relations 'will strengthen with investment and trade', Erdogan pledges
2 min read
20 September, 2018
Despite an ongoing diplomatic spat that sparked the crash of the Turkish currency, Erdogan struck a positive note in a speech to US companies, praising Turkey's 'strategic partnership' with America.
Presidents Erdogan and Trump at the NATO summit amid the diplomatic rift [Getty]
Putting aside a rocky few months of diplomatic tensions, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told representatives from US firms that relations between Washington and Ankara will grow stronger through investment and trade, in a speech given on Wednesday obtained by Reuters.

“I believe our strategic partnership with the United States will strengthen further with investment and trade despite all the ups and downs,” Erdogan told the audience, according to his speech text as seen by Reuters.

“We encouraged the business world to cooperate further while we are seeking ways to solve our problems via diplomacy with our counterparts,” Erdogan added.

“We would never want you to be negatively impacted or your projects to be obstructed due to the issues we are having with the current American government. We will continue to take necessary steps,” Erdogan told the busines leaders.

The two countries have disagreed over US policy in Syria, as well as America's refusal to extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Erdogan believes masterminded the failed coup in 2016.

But the most contentious issue of the past several months has been Turkey's refusal to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, who Turkey accuses of having links to the coup - an allegation Brunson denies.

The spat provoked President Donald Trump to wage sanctions on Turkey as well as double trade tariffs, which pushed the Turkish currency into freefall.

In response, Turkey also doubled tariffs on some US imports including alcohol, cars and tobacco.

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