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Report: UK Deepens Defense Ties With Turkey Since Failed Coup

The United Kingdom has deepened defense cooperation with Turkey and sold $1 bln worth of weapons to its NATO ally since the failed coup attempt in summer 2016.

A report by Middle East Eye shows that despite festering concerns over human rights abuses and the government crackdown on opponents in the post-coup era, the U.K. seeks to widen its share in Turkey’s defense market.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in London in the upcoming days. The visit captures the level of developing ties. May’s government is wrestling with the arduous Brexit process while Erdogan’s administration faces international criticism over its clampdown on political opponents.

The planned visit will begin on Sunday with Erdogan’s meeting with the Queen.

“UK weapons sales since the attempted coup include a $667m deal for military electronic data, armoured vehicles, small arms, ammunition, missiles, drones, aircraft and helicopters,” Middle East Eye reported.

The report added that U.K. arms sale “also includes a $135m deal for BAE Systems to fulfill Erdogan’s plan to build a Turkish-made fighter jet.”

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