Bagis receives croatian, TRNC diplomats
State Minister and Chief Negotiator for European Union talks Egemen Bagis yesterday separately received outgoing Croatian Ambassador to Turkey Gordan Bakota and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ambassador Mustafa Lakadamyali. "You have contributed not only to Turkish-Croatian relations, but also to your own country's and Turkey's EU membership bids," Bagis told Bakota, set to leave Ankara soon. Bagis said Turkey and Croatia began EU membership talks at the same time, and have shared their experiences. Bakota, for his part, said Croatia will soon join the EU, and that it supports Turkey's membership, as Turkey is an important European country. "I stress the importance of Turkey's full membership wherever I go," Bakota said. Meeting later with Lakadamyali, Bagis said, "Turkey will give up neither Northern Cyprus for the EU, nor the EU for Cyprus." Turkey believes it is right on both issues, and is working to prove this, he said. "We will never forsake the Turkish Cypriots, and will continue to work for a just and lasting solution on Cyprus based on political equality," he added.