The Southeast Europe 2030 Strategy Paper will help member states to achieve the target of sustainable economic growth, the Turkish president said on Thursday.
Speaking at a news conference in Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya following the South East European Countries Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the SEECP is the only platform where all 13 countries in the region gather around the same table.
'The fact that the summit was held with such a high level of participation despite the COVID-19 pandemic ... is a symbol of the trust shown in Turkey's constructive and embracing role in the region and especially the confidence in the measures we have taken in the fight against the virus,' he said.
The meeting also emphasized the importance of joint struggle against challenges such as migration and the pandemic, Erdogan added.
'We believe that there is no solution other than dialogue for the political problems in the region. In this sense, we support making maximum use of the opportunities offered by the SEECP,' the Turkish leader stated.
The SEECP is a cooperation forum that brings together Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Greece, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Kosovo.
Erdogan also said revitalizing Turkey's EU accession process and accelerating the membership bid of candidates and potential candidates in Southeast Europe will benefit the union on a global scale.
On Turkey's efforts during its SEECP presidency, Erdogan said that they tried to develop common solutions on issues such as agricultural policies, diaspora, education, and fighting against disasters by taking into consideration the principles of regional ownership and comprehensiveness.
'Turkey will continue to contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region in the future,' said Erdogan.
This year’s SEECP summit under Turkey’s term presidency also marks the group’s 25th anniversary.
Greece will take over the term presidency of the SEECP for a year as of July 1.
By Burak Bir