Turkey appoints new chief negotiator for EU accession talks .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} Egemen Bagis, deputy chairman of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has been appointed Thursday as the new chief negotiator for the country's accession talks with the European Union. (UPDATED)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan formerly held the post of chief negotiator for Turkey’s EU negotiations.
U.S.-educated Bagis, 38, previously served as a foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan between 2002-2007 and has been active in Turkey's foreign affairs.
Bagis, who speaks fluent English and French, will be also a cabinet member as a state minister.
Bagis's appontment precedes a trip by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to Brussels next week.
Analysts said the appointment indicates Erdogan is trying to show Brussels that Turkey is serious about its EU ambitions.

"They are trying to signal that they are going to start taking the EU more seriously and that they want to mollify the view that Turkey has gone cold on the EU," Semih Idiz, a columnist for liberal daily Milliyet, told Reuters.
Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in human resources management as well as a master of public administration degree both from the Baruch College of The City University of New York, Bagis served as the deputy chairman of the AKP responsible for foreign affairs.
He was honored with Italian Cavaliere State Recognition in 2006. He also chaired the Turkey-U.S. Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Bagis is married with two children.
Ankara has long faced calls to appoint a chief negotiator to deal solely with the country's EU bid on the grounds that the foreign minister already has a heavy workload. Babacan is now likely to focus much of his time on Turkey's two-year term as member of the U.N. Security Council.
Turkey began accession talks in 2005 but has made slow progress due to what analysts attribute to domestic politics, lack of enthusiasm for the bloc at home and a lack of appetite for further enlargement among EU states.
The European Union (EU) presidency welcomed on Friday appointment of a new chief negotiator.
The ambassadress of the Czech Republic, currently holding the rotating presidency of the union, defined Turkey's appointing a new chief negotiator as a positive development.
The appointment was a good step for not only Turkey, but also the Union, Ambassadress Eva Filipi told Anatolian Agency.
This appointment was not a surprise because different people undertook the mission of chief negotiator and the foreign ministry in countries that had recently became EU members, Filipi said.
Filipi said that being a chief negotiator was a full-time duty that required careful action and endeavor.
She said every one was respecting Babacan very much, but reiterated that being a chief negotiator was a full-time mission.