Having spoken to DHA, Richard Moore said he was in Ankara when a deadly bomb attack hit the capital on Feb. 17, saying the UK’s thoughts and prayers are with families of people who have died.
“It is a terrible event, where partnership begins to mean something. The UK and Turkey has a very strong partnership and today, we prove that life goes on, while talking about financial partnership” he told DHA, following his opening speech at the Turkey - UK partnership conference in Istanbul, on Feb. 18.
“There is of course a strong partnership between the U.K. and Turkey on counter-terrorism, and this will continue” Moore added.
“Migrant crisis shows central role of Turkey for EU”
Ambassador Moore underlined that the U.K. has been one of the strongest supporters of Turkey joining the European Union and vowed to maintain that.
“The migration crisis will perhaps make people aware of the central importance of Turkey as a strategic partner for Europe. I hope that we have not forgotten that the strategic partnership of Turkey covers a much broader range of issues, not only migration” he added.
According to Richard Moore, “migration crisis should not be wasted” as it also accelerates EU-Turkey accession talks:
“Look, if it takes migration to revive the process between the EU and Turkey, than fine, let’s use that crisis. There is an expression in English: Never waste a crisis. Let’s build on it, make sure we continue the momentum.”
"The accession process is excellent for driving reform and innovation in Turkey” he explained.
“I think in this very uncertain world when we look around to what is happening in Syria, Russia and Iraq, binding Turkey closer to European Union has to be in both Turkey’s and the EU’s interest” the British Ambassador urged.
“Environment to encourage foreign investment needed”
British Ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore reiterated Turkish government’s “ambitious” plans to turn Istanbul into a financial center.
He stressed this plan offers “obvious opportunities” for the UK to partner, as the city of London is the “number one financial center” in the world.
“Pension, insurance, banking sector, participant finance or so-called Islamic finance” were listed by Moore as some of opportunities that the UK seeks to grow in Turkey.
However, it is central to “make the environment in Turkey as welcoming as possible for foreign companies to come in and partner with Turkish companies”, according to the UK envoy.
“That is all about sense of security, sense that rules and laws apply well. They need to have confidence and be sure that decisions are not taken arbitrarily to be encouraged for making investments” Moore urged.
“I am encouraged myself of Turkey’s long reform program which is set down and publicized. If they are applied, the environment will improve the atmosphere. But let me be clear, investors are already coming and they tend to look long-term. Despite terrible events such as the Ankara attack, they are aware of the resilience and adaptability of Turkish economy and companies” said Moore.