‘Positive agenda is a diplomatic success’
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey has achieved a certain progress during the Greek Cypriot presidency, ‘which had not been seen over the last 30 years,’ according to Egemen Bağış. AA photoEuropean Union affairs minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış has suggested that “the positive agenda” process between Turkey and the EU is a result of Turkey’s efforts, which pushed the bloc to come with the idea. He also said the process has been a diplomatic success for Turkey.
“The European Union was obligated to create this process in an effort to overcome the obstacles introduced by Turkey’s path to the EU over the past 60 years. This is Turkey’s diplomatic success,” Bağış said yesterday.
The EU minister drew particular attention to the groups formed to work on politically-stalled chapters in Turkey’s EU accession talks, and also mentioned that discussion of visa exemption had begun as part of the positive agenda process. Prior to the launch of the positive agenda, there was the general impression that Turkey would completely cut its ties with the EU during Greek Cyprus’s rotating presidency of the bloc.
“On the contrary, we have achieved a certain progress during the Greek Cypriot presidency, which had not been seen over the last 30 years,” Bağış noted. Bağış also suggested that the “positive agenda” was a direct result of Turkey’s efforts, which pushed the EU to create such a notion. “The positive agenda is definitely not an alternative to membership negotiations; however, it is a bridge that can help us overcome the obstacles before our membership talks.” Bağış also said he has been holding talks with Irish officials and Turkey will continue to take decisive steps when Ireland assumes to rotating EU presidency in January.