Bağış starts working as negotiator .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;} ANKARA - Turkey's new chief European Union negotiator, Egemen Bağış, took his post yesterday, taking over rom Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.

There was a symbolic ceremony held in the General-Secreteriat of the European Union, or ABGS to mark the handover. Bağış will start his official work today in his new role and immediately begin preparations for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s first trip to Brussels in four years.

Erdoğan will travel to Brussels on Jan. 19 and he will meet with EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Bağış’s appointment to the post also led to an administrative change in the position of the ABGS. Formerly under the roof of the Foreign Ministry, the ABGS will now be predicated to the Prime Ministry.

State minister and chief negotiator, Bağış was informed of his appointment when he was in Morocco where he was attending a conference as deputy party leader. On his return to Istanbul on Saturday he was welcomed by a large crowd of party members congratulation him for on new post.