Britain Engaging With Turkey

Britain Engaging With Turkey Britain Engaging With Turkey

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a day after a friendly meeting in Washington with US President Donald Trump.

May flew overnight to Ankara by RAF Voyager jet from the US, where she and Trump proclaimed a new chapter in the trans-Atlantic "special relationship."

She arrived for talks with Erdogan to find her own image dominating television screens in the presidential palace, which were showing images of her visit to the White House on Friday, AP reported.

The talks with Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim were expected to focus on boosting trade between Turkey and Britain once the UK leaves the European Union, and on increasing cooperation over security and counterterrorism.

May, who is paying her first visit to Turkey since becoming prime minister, is under pressure at home to condemn Turkey's clampdown on civil liberties. Kate Allen, the head of Amnesty UK, said the visit was a "vital opportunity" for May to ask "probing questions" about allegations of excessive use of force and ill-treatment in detention. 

May's office said Britain "had expressed strong support for Turkey's democracy and institutions following a coup attempt in July", but also urged Turkey "to ensure that their response is proportionate, justified and in line with international human rights obligations."

Her office also said May believed it was in Britain's interest to engage with Turkey, an important NATO partner.

May and Turkish leaders are also expected to discuss the conflict in Syria and efforts to reunite Cyprus.

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