Turkish, French FMs look to stronger economic ties

– Economic relations are good, but still fall short of their potential, says Mevlut Cavusoglu
– Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Monday touted Turkey’s close relations with France, but added that economic ties still fall short of their potential, according to Anadolu Agency.

“We have very good economic relations with France. France has always been among our top 10 in foreign trade,” Cavusoglu told a joint press conference in the capital Ankara alongside his visiting French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault.

“But [we are] still far away from our $20 billion target in bilateral trade. We have to put more effort into reaching this goal.”

For his part, Ayrault praised Turkish-French relations as “constantly increasing and very close,” adding that the priority areas for better ties are the economy, culture, the defense industry, energy, security, transportation, and education.

The second phase of a multi-year action plan will be discussed in bilateral talks with France, Cavusoglu said.

Under a 2014 strategic cooperation framework, Turkey and France adopted an action plan as a roadmap for bilateral relations, and set ambitious goals for economic development to reach $20 billion in bilateral trade.

Cavusoglu also announced that Turkey has a plan with France to build a nuclear power plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop.

During his visit, later today Ayrault is due to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.