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International relations

Turkey's economy minister seeks Japan trade pact this year

Japan-EU deal adds urgency; Ankara plans 'countermeasures' against US tariffs

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci

ANKARA -- Turkey aims to achieve a framework this year for a delayed economic partnership agreement with Japan, according to the economy minister, who also warned that Ankara is prepared to take action to counter planned U.S. tariffs.

"I have great hope (we will reach) a framework agreement within 2018," Nihat Zeybekci told Nikkei here ahead of his departure Sunday for Japan, where he will meet with his counterpart Hiroshige Seko. The stalled free trade agreement will top the agenda. "With this visit I would like to see a clear picture, otherwise I will not run after this," said Zeybekci, who believes that an agreement could result in a pact being implemented in 2019.

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