Politics, World, Europe

Balkans' peace 'extremely important' for Turkey

Turkish president heads to Bosnia and Herzegovina to attend South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) meeting

Diyar Guldogan   | 08.07.2019
Balkans' peace 'extremely important' for Turkey

ANKARA 

Balkans' peace, stability and welfare are "extremely important" for Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, ahead of his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"Balkans' peace, stability, tranquility and welfare are extremely important for us. Our country does have the luxury to monitor developments in this geography," Erdogan told reporters at Istanbul Airport.

Erdogan will attend the two-day South East European Countries Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit in the capital Sarajevo. 

"Turkey, within the framework of the importance it attaches to the peace, stability and welfare in the Balkans, has effectively contributed to the SEECP, the only regional cooperation platform that encompasses all the countries in the Balkans, since its foundation," according to a presidential statement.

Erdogan said Turkey contributes to the regional stability not only through bilateral ways but also through diversified cooperation platforms.

"Within the scope of Sarajevo summit, we will hopefully handle cooperation activities in Balkans particularly in the areas of economy, trade, transportation and infrastructure investments," he added. 

During his visit, Erdogan will also hold bilateral meetings with members of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential Council and with other participating leaders.

He will also meet with Turkish soldiers -- deployed as part of the Turkish Military Representative to the European Union Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Operation ALTHEA, in Butmir.

On Tuesday, Erdogan will commemorate the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

The Srebrenica genocide took place on July 11, 1995 and saw over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims massacred by Bosnian-Serb forces under President Slobodan Milosevic and General Ratko Mladic. 

It is known to be the single worst act of mass killing since the end of the Second World War in 1945.

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