Strong ties between Turkey and Serbia are vital for peace and stability of the region, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday.
In remarks made during a joint press conference with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in the Serbian capital Belgrade, Davutoglu said that Turkey’s objective was to have good relations with Serbia and ensure the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region as a whole.
"Our most important goal is, in addition to good relations with Serbia, the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and stability in the region," Davutoglu said.
About EU memberships for Serbia and Turkey, he said it was very important for the 28-nation bloc itself since such a move would contribute to Europe becoming a "continent of peace".
Vucic said that Serbia as a sovereign state had friendly relations with both the Russian Federation and Turkey.
"Serbia is a small country and it does not plan to solve major world problems. I know our place very well in the world. We have good and friendly relations with the Russian Federation and Turkey and so we'll go on," he said.
"We would like all the problems to be solved between Russia and Turkey in the best way possible. Serbia is a sovereign and independent state and it is conducting its own policy," he added.
Davutoglu also said that he loved Belgrade, which he said felt like Istanbul.
"I love Belgrade and I feel like home here, it should be same for Vucic and other Serbs when they come to Istanbul. It is an expression of love, not some historical claim. I say to all Serbs: 'Istanbul is your city, Antalya is your city,' and let everyone to call it their own city, I would be very pleased about it," he said.
During his visit, Davutoglu will attend the opening ceremony of Turkish Yunus Emre Cultural Center and a business forum.
On the second day of his visit, Davutoglu together with Vucic and Bosnian Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic will visit Serbia's southwest city Novi Pazar where the Muslim population is dense.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.