Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis went to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in order to give a conference and make some contacts. He came together with Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the Prime Minister of TRNC and Turgay Avcı, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of TRNC.
Bagis, stating before the meeting that it was his first visit to TRNC after his appointment as the minister, indicated that they would exchange views about the EU process, get information regarding the developments and share their experiences.
Indicating that he made a telephone conversation with Mehmet Ali Talat, the President of TRNC who was in the USA, Bagis said that they attached importance to the ongoing negotiations carried out under the leadership of Talat.
Pointing out the importance of EU for Turkey, Bagis stated that Cyprus process was an issue which they followed closely in connection to Turkey's EU process. Bagis said: "Continuation of these negotiations has proved that Turkey is for peace and solution."
Stating that Turkish Cypriots gave a clear message to the world with the referendum for the Annan plan and it was now clear who wanted peace and integration with the world and who did not, Bagis said: "We have to maintain our position. Thus, we attach great importance to the negotiations carried out by President Talat."
Bagis thanked Prime Minister Soyer for his support to Turkey's EU membership process.After his meeting with Turgay Avcı, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of TRNC, Bagis said that Turkey's EU membership was the greatest modernisation project after the declaration of the republic and Turkey attached great importance to this project.
Bagis said, TRNC opened representative offices in different parts of the world and high level official visits had been paid to TRNC in the recent past which indicated the removal of the isolation step by step.
Bagis expressed that membership to the EU which is the modernisation project of Turkey was important for both Turkey and TRNC in this aspect also.
Bagis said that he could not meet President Mehmet Ali Talat who was in the USA but Turkey, just like the rest of the world, attached great importance to these negotiations carried out by Talat.
Bagis also stated that the continuation of the negotiations carried out by Talat was supported in Turkey both by the government and the opposition parties.
Pointing out that it was now clear after the Annan referendum that Turkish Cypriots and Turkey sought solution but the Greeks were proved to be not on the side of solution, Bagis said that Turkey would continue to support a sustainable agreement based on two regions and equality in Cyprus.
Bagis indicated that the order of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to carry water to the island through pipes was being executed, the project was over and they were at the stage of starting the tender process.
Indicating that water would be brought to the Island from Turkey and this was a clear indicator of Turkey's support for an agreement in the island.
Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, together with a delegation including Oguz Demiralp, the Secretary General for EU Affairs, attended the complimentary dinner given by Turgay Avcı, the Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister of TRNC.