Turkey seeks free trade agreement with Gulf

March 28th, 2008 - 5:25 pm ICT by admin  

Abu Dhabi, March 28 (IANS) Turkey is negotiating a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf states, WAM news agency reported Friday. In an exclusive interview with the Dubai-based newspaper Khaleej Times, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said his country attached great importance to the security and stability of the region and called for dialogue rather than using force to resolve problems.

“Economic cooperation and trade are the main objectives for the welfare of our region. The policy of ’soft power’ is worthy of applause. But the US uses hard power to impose its will on other nations,” the Turkish president said.

Stressing that Turkey’s ties with the Gulf countries has improved in the last four to five years, Gul said: “This comes from the strategic outlook that we have towards this region, towards all the Gulf States. This view is based on the two pillars of security and economics.”

Earlier in February Gul had reiterated Turkey’s commitment to boosting ties with the UAE. After the UAE-Turkey joint committee meeting in Ankara, he said private sectors of both countries should seize opportunities provided by economic reforms.

UAE and Turkey are expected to increase their bilateral trade to $10 billion in the next two years.

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