Turkey, MERCOSUR sign deal to build political dialogue

Turkey and members of the Southern Common Market signed a Memorandum to Establish Political Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism.

Turkey, MERCOSUR sign deal to build political dialogue

Turkey and members of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) signed Thursday a Memorandum to Establish Political Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism.

Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis and relevant ministers of the MERCOSUR countries signed the Memorandum in the Brazilian city of Foz Do Iguacu as part of the 40th MERCOSUR summit and ministerial meeting.

Based on the Memorandum, ministers of Turkey and MERCOSUR will get together once every two years and hold discussions on human rights, disarmament, illegal migration, human trafficking, organized crimes and counter-terrorism.

In a press release issued Thursday, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said that "Turkey has thereby become the second country to date to have established such cooperation framework with MERCOSUR".

"Founded on March 26, 1991 by the Treaty of Asuncion, MERCOSUR is a customs union that foresees free trade and common trade policies among its members and aims at creating a common market based on the European Union model. MERCOSUR, with its headquarters in the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo, is comprised of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela's membership process is continuing. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are associate members," the MFA said.

"MERCOSUR, representing a total population of around 240 million and a national income amounting to 2.5 trillion US Dollars, is, due to the political integration activities and programs implemented, one of the most prominent integration models in its region," the MFA said.

"The signing of the said Memorandum with MERCOSUR constitutes a tangible outcome of Turkey's strategy to open up to Latin America and the Caribbean region, a policy that has been decisively pursued in recent years. Turkey aims to diversifying and intensifying its political and economic relations with the region by way of this new mechanism that will provide for regular political consultations with MERCOSUR member states," the MFA noted.

"The trade volume between Turkey and MERCOSUR member and associated states combined was in the range of 2.9 billion US Dollars in 2009. This figure rose to 3.3 billion Dollars in the first ten months of 2010, representing a 43 percent increase from the same period of the year before," the MFA said.

"Turkey is also conducting exploratory negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with MERCOSUR. Having concluded two rounds of talks so far, Turkey is looking forward to launching and swiftly concluding FTA negotiations with MERCOSUR in 2011," the MFA said.

"On this occasion, an Agreement on the Prevention of Double Taxation between Turkey and the host of the MERCOSUR Summit, Brazil was signed on behalf of Turkey by Egemen Bagis, Minister for European Union Affairs and Chief Negotiator," the MFA also said.


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Last Mod: 17 Aralık 2010, 16:07
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