Upon the request of Caroline Flint, Minister of State for Europe of the UK, for a negotiation, Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, realized a phone call with her.
Flint congratulated Bagis for his new post and she stated that UK had always supported Turkey's EU process and within this scope, she added that, she was ready to work with Bagis.
Bagis stated that "2009 is identified as a year of reform towards the way to the EU as mentioned by Prime Minister Erdogan" and he added "Turkey has put forward this approach particularly with the arrangements made recently."
Bagis declared that, within this time, "National programme has been published in the Official Gazette and has entered into force, TRT has initiated multilingual broadcasts, citizenship of Nazim Hikmet has been returned, a Minister of State has been appointed to carry out the negotiations with EU under the title Chief Negotiator."
Bagis stated that the visit of Prime Minister Erdogan to Brussels on 19 January represented the initiation of a new era as it was the first visit Erdogan realized since 2004. Bagis added that he was expecting a response from EU to the positive approach of Turkey.
In addition, Bagis stated that they were expecting efforts from Czech Presidency towards the opening of important chapters and also supports from the British Government regarding the same issue.
Bagis said that he would meet Nicholas Baird, the British Ambassador in Ankara, next week and would exchange ideas about the opening of negotiation chapters.
The energy issue was also mentioned during the speech between Bagis and Flint. Flint emphasized the importance of Turkey as a solution for the energy crisis of Europe.