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Home » Turkey’s Erdogan to Meet UK’s Prince Edward as Ties Develop

Turkey’s Erdogan to Meet UK’s Prince Edward as Ties Develop

by Kan Khine
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host the UK’s Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, later this month as the two countries discuss ways to develop defense and trade relations, according to people familiar with the matter.

Turkey and the UK have been working to boost ties since Brexit and the rare meeting with a member of the British royal family comes on the heels of a visit by UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

Prince Edward is also expected to attend a gala dinner and visit a British school during his stay, said the people, who asked not to be named as the trip has yet to be announced.

Buckingham Palace and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office declined to comment.

Turkey is engaged in talks with the UK to extend the scope of an existing free trade agreement and is also in discussions with Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc over the joint production of engines for its tank and warplane projects, the people said.

While talks with Rolls-Royce are at an advanced stage, no announcement is expected during the trip, the people said.

Day Two Of The 53rd International Paris Air Show
Turkey’s national flag sits on the tail fin of a Turkish Aerospace Industries fighter jet during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, in Paris, France, on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Turkey is hoping to secure a deal with Rolls-Royce to boost its domestic program to develop a fifth-generation fighter jet, dubbed TAI Kaan, or TF. Rolls-Royce already has a joint venture with Turkish industrial conglomerate Kale Group in Turkey, where the future engine would be produced if an agreement is reached.

The TAI Kaan is a stealth, twin-engine, all-weather fighter plane being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries with assistance from BAE Systems.

Turkey has also expressed interest in buying three Type 23 frigates currently in use by the Royal Navy to replace some of its aging ships, the people said.

Cleverly, the most senior UK minister to visit Turkey since a new government was formed in May, held talks with its foreign and defense ministers in Ankara earlier this week.

His discussions with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan focused on preliminary preparations to expand the scope of the free trade deal and diversify bilateral trade, which stands at close to $20 billion.

Source : Bloomberg

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