Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis stated that with its government and opposition Sweden had always been a country which supported Turkey's EU membership.
Within the scope of his contacts in Sweden, Bagis met with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. After the meeting, Bagis moved on to the Swedish Parliament and met with Anna Kinberg Batra, the chairman of the Parliament's Committee on EU Affairs and with Urban Ahlin, deputy chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Swedish Parliament.
Bagis met up with Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Frank Belfrage, Cabinet Secretary and State Secretary for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and afterwards attended lunch hosted by Cecilia Malmström, Minister for European Union Affairs in his honour .
Recording that he had made many important contacts in Sweden, Bagis said "The classic support of Sweden to Turkey's EU membership will continue during and after their presidency."
Bagis stated that they were so much hopeful about Sweden's undertaking the EU presidency as of 1 July. He continued his speech with these:
"It is for sure that we are extremely hopeful about this issue. With its both the ruling parties and the opposing parties, Sweden has always supported Turkey's EU membership. Sweden is a country which makes it publicly. In other words, it is a country which does not only give its support to Turkey confidentially but also speaks about this support publicly. Therefore we are hopeful."
Returning to Istanbul on the same plane with Bildt, Bagis stated that he was so much pleased about the keen interest and hospitality they received in Sweden.
In the joint press conference organized in Ataturk Airport, Bagis stated that, during his contacts in Sweden and during his speech with Bildt on the plane, they had evaluated Turkey's EU process and the chapters that were considered to be opened in the next period and other issues related to Turkey and international developments. He added that the meetings were held in a friendly atmosphere.
Bagis said "Sweden is a country that gives strong support to Turkey and it does not avoid speaking about this fact publicly." Bagis emphasized that many EU member states gave support to Turkey but they avoided from speaking about it publicly. He added that, they appreciated Sweden in that regard.
Stating that they were waiting for Sweden's EU presidency and they believed in their objective manners, Bagis said they perceived the presidency of Sweden as an important opportunity in terms of Turkey's relations with other EU member states.
Renewing Sweden's support to Turkey, Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, said "We give strong support to Turkey's EU membership. With Turkey's membership, EU will become more dynamic and a more effective union in a global sense." Resource: AA