British PM May to raise trade, security with Turkey's Erdogan

Another 5 arrested for insulting Erdoğan

The refugee crisis is a "global issue" and to solve it we need greater cooperation among all worldwide powers, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Saturday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday urged Turkey to maintain the rule of law and observe its human rights obligations in the wake of the July 15 failed coup.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also visited Turkey just three months after Britain voted in June to leave the European Union, saying during his stay that London wanted a "jumbo free trade deal" with Ankara.

"We have already expressed our strong support for Turkey's democracy and institutions following the coup - but we have also been clear that we urge Turkey to ensure that their response is proportionate, justified and in line with global human rights obligations".

"We have agreed to a joint working group, in order to prepare for post-Brexit trading relationship", May said, following talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

The announcement comes during the Prime Minister's one-day visit to the Turkish capital Ankara, where she became the first Western leader to meet president Recep Tayyip Erdogan since last year's attempted coup.

She added, "this is more than a trade deal - it is the start of a deep defense partnership that will contribute to our overall security".

She said: "I'm proud that the United Kingdom stood with (Mr Erdogan) on July 15 a year ago in defence of your democracy".

The UK has signed a £100m deal to design new fighter jets for Turkey, despite the country's President undertaking a severe crackdown on his regime's opponents.

The failed coup past year saw the Turkish President enforce a state of emergency, order a wave of arrests, the closure of numerous media outlets and the removal of thousands of public officials - including judges, teachers and university academics - from their jobs.

A new trading relationship with Turkey following the UK's exit from the European Union (EU) would form part of the discussions, Downing Street announced.

Both PMs have also discussed a number of other important regional security issues on Saturday including Syria and Cyprus.

"But we have also been clear that we urge Turkey to ensure that their response is proportionate, justified and in line with worldwide human rights obligations". The pair also signed an agreement on aviation security.

He added his hope that annual trade between the two countries could be increased from $15.6bn (£12.4bn) to $20bn (£15.9bn).

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