Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Bagis received U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, James Jeffrey.
In his speech at the reception held at the Secretariat General for European Union Affairs Bagis stated that he is acquainted with U.S. Ambassador, James Jeffrey since 1999. He also reminded that Jeffrey was the chargé d'affairs to Ankara when the former U. S. President Bill Clinton visited Turkey. Bagis declared that Jeffrey together with Mark Paris, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ankara carried out a successful organization for the mentioned visit of Bill Clinton. Bagis added:
"At that time, I had the chance to work closely with him. Thenceforth, we had the opportunity to meet in Washington for various reasons. As you know, the visit of our Prime Minister to Washington, White House, Oval Office in 5 November 2007 is the turning point for Turkish-American relations.
After that visit, strategic cooperation between Turkey and America gained new dimensions, especially in the field of fight against terrorism; and U.S.A declared that PKK terror organization is not only the enemy of Turkey but also the common enemy of Iraq and America. America also took the necessary steps for the real time intelligence sharing. These all are very important for Turkey in the process of fight against terrorism."
Bagis emphasized the great contributions Jeffey made in this process and he thanked Jeffrey, by also adding that Jeffrey is a sophisticated diplomat experienced in Iraq, Turkey and terrorism issues.
Bagis stated: "U.S.A has always attached importance to the Turkey's developing close relations with the West and to the EU negotiations of which I have undertaken the responsibility. It has always declared its support to this issue. I am sure that also in the Presidency period of Obama, U.S.A will continue to support the full membership of Turkey to EU."
Bagis stated that this was the first visit of Jeffrey as the U.S. Ambassador to Ankara and he explained his hope to continue to work closely in the upcoming period.
U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, James Jeffrey also stated that U.S.A has been supporting the membership of Turkey to EU for a long time and he added "Turkey is an important ally of us and also it is a democratic and secular state. So, the future of Turkey is very important for us and Turkey will have a great role in the West."