Politics

Overcoming Bosnia crisis demands international cooperation: Turkish president

International community must act together to overcome crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Dilara Hamit, Jeyhun Aliyev   | 18.01.2022
Overcoming Bosnia crisis demands international cooperation: Turkish president

ANKARA

The international community must act together to overcome the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the president of Turkiye said on Tuesday.

"To overcome the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it's clear that there's a need for the international community to move together," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a joint press conference alongside his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic, referring to recent moves towards separatism in the multi-ethnic state.

"It's imperative that all parties refrain from taking steps that harm the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and act responsibly," said Erdogan.

Serbia's support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina is very important for the peace and stability of the region, he said.

"As Turkiye, we will continue to do our best to reduce tensions in the Balkans," added the Turkish president.

For his part, Vucic underlined that Belgrade respects the territorial integrity of neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"We tried to find a common solution for all regional issues," he said about the face-to-face meeting with Erdogan.

"Stability and security are very important. Of course, it is very important that we know the past. It is very important that we take lessons from them. It is also very important that we research it. But, we must create a very different and better future with our own hands," he noted.


'Relations at excellent level'

Erdogan noted that Turkiye and Serbia recently increased their trade volume to $2 billion, adding that the two countries' next goal was $5 billion.

He underlined that despite the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the trade volume between the two countries "continues to break records."

Erdogan praised the contribution of Turkish companies to Serbia's "successful development move," noting that today, more than 1,300 Turkish companies were active in Serbia and employed about 8,000 people.

"The total value of our investments has increased from $1 million to $250 million in the last 10 years. Our contractors have signed 45 projects worth $823 million in Serbia so far. I would like to thank my dear friend (Vucic) for his sincere support to our entrepreneurs. As Turkiye, we will continue to provide all necessary assistance to Serbian investors who want to invest in our country."

Emphasizing that relations with Serbia are at an excellent level, Erdogan said that during the meeting, the two presidents comprehensively discussed the current level of their countries' cooperation and focused on the steps to be taken in the future.

"2021 has been an exceptional year for our relations. We opened our Novi Pazar Consulate General on Sept. 1. Thus, we became the first country to open a consulate general in Novi Pazar. This year, I hope we will open a consulate office in Nis," he added.

Vucic added that Serbia's trade volume with Turkiye had reached its "best momentum in history."

Also, four agreements were signed at the top level between Turkiye and Serbia during the meeting.


Turkish-Israeli talks

On relations with Israel, Erdogan said he was engaging in talks with his counterpart from that country, adding that President Isaac Herzog could pay Turkiye a visit.

He also stated that Turkiye has sought positive approaches to possible cooperation with Israel in the Mediterranean Sea.

"The goal is to get somewhere with positive approaches. If this positive approach is based on a win-win basis, we, as Turkiye, are ready to do our best," said Erdogan.


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