Turkey calls for forming clearing house within D-8

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey calls for forming a clearing house within Developing Countries (D-8) to conduct trade in local currencies, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saturday.

"We are experiencing a period of trade wars. The best response against this would be using our local currencies in trade. Turkey is preparing to do trade in local currencies with countries such as China, Russia, Iran and Ukraine. We also continue such negotiations with other countries.

"It is possible to realize this within D-8. Therefore, we propose to form a clearing house within D-8," Cavusoglu said at the opening speech of the 18th Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of D-8 in southern Antalya province.

On June 15, 1997, the D-8 was launched after Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan proposed the creation of an economic group consisting of eight emerging economies from the Muslim world.

Alongside Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan created an organization based in Istanbul.

Cavusoglu said the countries need to work more to renew and revive, adding: "We can increase our strength and potential with new members."

– Lifting sanctions against US officials

Upon being asked about lifting sanctions against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Cavusoglu said the decision was taken in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.

Cavusoglu reminded reporters that Turkey imposed sanctions on Sessions and Nielsen when the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions against Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul on Aug. 1.

"The U.S. wanted to reverse this decision. They asked us whether we were ready to lift sanctions mutually… 'We will lift it when you do so,' we replied."

He said the sanctions were lifted mutually on Friday.

The U.S. had imposed sanctions on the ministers amid a row about Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who was detained in Turkey on terrorism charges. He was released last month.