Turkey and EU to re-examine Customs Union agreement

Customs Union Agreement with the EU to be re-examined again, Turkey's economy minister says

Customs Union Agreement with the EU to be re-examined again, Turkey's economy minister says

BURDUR - Turkey is to start re-negotiations of the Customs Union Agreement with the EU by June, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Sunday.

Speaking in Burdur province, Zeybekci said that he discussed the agreement with his EU counterparts in a recent meeting and convinced them to re-negotiate it no later than June. "We will put it on the table once again," he said.

Turkey is in a disadvantageous position because of the 1995 agreement, as it has to lower customs duties for a third of EU countries, but does not benefit in return from those countries lowering their customs duties as Turkey is not yet a member of the EU.

Meanwhile, Zeybekci dismissed the possibility of confrontation with Syria after Turkish fighter jets' downed a Syrian warplane for violating Turkey's airspace.

"Don't worry, there would not be any war with Syria and the Turkish economy will never be affected," the minister said.

Two Syrian MIG-23 fighter aircrafts approached Turkey's airspace along the Turkish-Syrian border around 1pm on Sunday, according to a press release from the office of Turkish Chief of Staff. 

"One of the two F-16 pilots, who were on air patrol at the time, fired a missile at the Syrian aircraft at 1:14 pm in accordance with the engagement rules. The plane went down near the Syrian town of Kasab, about 1,200 meters south of the border," the press release said.

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