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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during the opening ceremony of Eurasia Tunnel in Istanbul, Turkey, December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

(reuters_tickers)

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara on Saturday, her spokesman said.

The visit would "reflect the fact that Turkey is an indispensable partner and a close ally for the UK on many issues of global importance including trade, security and defence," the spokesman added.

Since last July's failed coup, Turkey has jailed about 40,000 people pending trial and has suspended or dismissed more than 100,000 from the military, judiciary and public services.

Asked if May would raise human rights with the Turkish leaders, the spokesman told reporters: "We have been clear in our support for Turkey’s democracy and institutions."

"The prime minister will take this opportunity to reiterate our support for that but we will also be clear that Turkey’s response to that must be proportionate and of course we will continue to raise those issues," he added.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Stephen Addison)

Reuters