UK to help Turkey join EU

Turkey and UK signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in environment chapter in Turkey's European Union accession talks.

The agreement was signed by Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis and UK Minister for EU David Lidington after a joint press conference in Istanbul on the sidelines of the 7th Bogazici Conference.

Speaking at the press conference, Bagis said his talks with Lidington covered Turkish-British relations as well as Turkey's accession talks and the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in closing the environment chapter, Anadolu Agency reported.

"Britain is the country that would understand the best the ups and downs Turkey goes through in its accession process because Britain's accession talks were not without its pains. Britain is a source of inspiration for us with its commitment to the EU integration," he added.

Lidington said that the memorandum of understanding aimed at making contributions to Turkey to fulfill the requirements of the policy chapter on environment, which he said would strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.

He also re-iterated his government's support for Turkey's European Union, adding that Turkey's democracy worked on an idea of pluralism.

As an overwhelmingly Muslim country, he said, Turkey had a successfully working democratic multi-party system, adding: "Turkey's approach is a good example for the position of Islam in the public area. Turkey's democracy is working on idea of pluralism. These values will be enhanced by Turkey's EU membership."