It is important to update the customs agreement with the European Union

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Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakci said Thursday that it is important that negotiations to modernize the customs union between Turkey and the European Union begin as soon as possible.

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Kaymakci said in a statement during his stay in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, that Turkey and Sweden have close strategic cooperation.

He added that his visit to Stockholm aims to hold talks with a number of officials of Sweden, which will assume the presidency of the European Union as of January 1.

He pointed out that Sweden’s interest in updating the customs agreement between Turkey and the European Union is a matter of happiness to Ankara.

He continued, “The willingness of Swedish companies to invest in Turkey is something we are very pleased with, and the issue of updating the customs agreement is important for Swedish companies as well.”

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Regarding Sweden’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Qaymakci said that Turkey would like Sweden to fulfill its pledges in the tripartite memorandum that was concluded on the sidelines of the NATO leaders’ summit in Madrid last June, and thus obtain full membership in the alliance.

He also touched on the file of Turkey’s membership in the European Union, saying: “Sweden in general supports the expansion of the European Union. We are confident that Stockholm will work to revitalize Turkey’s accession process during its presidency of the Union next year.”

The Customs Union Agreement signed in 1995 applies to industrial products today, but not traditional agricultural products. If the agreement is updated, it will include agricultural, service and industrial products, and the public procurement sector, and will prevent Turkey from being affected by the free trade agreements concluded by the European Union with other countries.

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The approval of updating the customs union agreement requires the approval of the European Parliament and the Council on the new formula that will result from the talks of the two parties, in order to then enter into force.