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"Serbian-Turkish relations at highest level ever"

27. October 2009. | 11:32 11:33

Source: EMportal

Author: N.D.A. Arvanites

Gul and Tadic said that  the two countries have the best relations in their history, noting that their ties have reached the level of strategic partnership. After meeting with Tadic, Gul said Serbia and Turkey, although not bordering states, live as good neighbors.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul arrived on a two-day visit to Serbia on Oct. 26. In meetings with top local officials, Gul said that bilateral ties are good, stressing that Turkey is interested in investing in Serbia.

Gul met with his Serbian counterpart Boris Tadic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic, and also spoke at the Serbia-Turkey Business Forum at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Gul and Tadic said that today the two countries have the best relations in their history, noting that their ties have reached the level of strategic partnership. After meeting with Tadic, Gul said Serbia and Turkey, although not bordering states, live as good neighbors.

President Boris Tadic said that the bilateral relations between Serbia and Turkey had been at the highest level ever and that the visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul opened the door to a further deepening of the cooperation and friendship between the two countries.

"We had a number of misunderstandings in the past, but we want to see our future as that of understanding and friendship," Tadic said and noted that Turkey and Serbia represented unavoidable factors in the resolution of all issues that were important for the region.

In his talks with Gul, whose country has recognized the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo, Tadic reiterated that Serbia would never acknowledge Pristina's unilateral act and that by using diplomatic and legal means, it would continue to fight for the preservation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"Our disagreement over Kosovo must not bring harm to our relations and disrupt them," Tadic said, pointing out that the two countries backed each other on their path of European integration.

Tadic proposed the setting up of a Turkish cultural and educational center near Belgrade, which, according to him, would be an opportunity for the meeting of two different cultures and religions in this region.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, has stated that strategic partnership of the two states is a common and obtainable goal, underscoring that Serbia has a key role in the stability, security and prosperity of the Balkans.

"In the position that we are in, we intend to channel the relations towards a strategic cooperation. We share this goal and it is achievable, because despite the fact that we do not share any borders, we always look at Serbia as our neighbor. This is the main message I will convey to my friend President Tadic and Serbian officials during my visit," President Gul said ahead of his first visit.

As he himself underscored President Gul is the first Turkish president to visit Serbia in the past 23 years. Gul underscored that he particularly respects and shares Tadic's strategic vision of the future bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries, which the Serbian president had presented during their earlier meetings.

Speaking about Kosovo, whose independence Ankara has recognized among the first countries, Gul said that Turkey respects Serbia's approach, which may be used as an example not only in the region but in the world as a whole, and that this approach is based on legal and diplomatic resolution of outstanding issues.

"We are aware of Serbia's sensitivity, and we understand it, in regards to the issue of Kosovo. Our recognition of the independence of Kosovo, whose people we have strong ties with and whose independence came as a result of a long-term engagement of the international community, is not directed against Serbia. This stand should not be an obstacle for the development of the relations between Turkey and Serbia," said President Gul.

Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said during talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul that there is great scope for increasing trade between the two countries and that Serbia could prove to be a good investment destination for Turkey.

It was stated at the meeting that good relations between Serbia and Turkey are important for regional stability and that it is necessary to improve all forms of cooperation between the two countries.

The importance of infrastructure projects in Serbia was stressed at the meeting. Turkey has expressed interest chiefly in these projects.

At the Palace Serbia, the two countries signed cooperation agreements in infrastructure projects, economy, the technical and financial sector, and social activities as well as an administrative agreement on the implementation of social security.

There is great potential for improving trade and attracting Turkish investments, Cvetkovic said in a meeting with Gul.

At the Serbia-Turkey Business Forum, Gul and Tadic called on businesspeople to intensify cooperation and invest in infrastructure and the energy field.

Tadic recalled that Belgrade and Ankara are participating in the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline and expressed the hope that Serbia will also join the Nabucco pipeline project, in which Turkey is taking part.

Serbian and Turkish ministers signed yesterday five bilateral interstate agreements during Turkish President Abdullah Gull’s visit to Serbia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic and Turkish Minister of Labour and Social Policy Omer Dincer signed an agreement on cooperation over infrastructure projects and an agreement on economic cooperation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Vuk Jeremic and State Secretary in the Turkish government Faruk Celik signed an agreement on technical and financial cooperation.

Minister of Labour and Social Policy Rasim Ljajic and Dincer signed two social security-related agreements.

In a meeting with Djukic-Dejanovic, Gul advocated the overall improvement of bilateral ties and cooperation.

Gul is the first ever Turkish president paying a state visit to Serbia since 1986.

A 115-member delegation including State Minister Faruk Çelik and Labor & Social Security Minister Ömer Dinçer is accompanying the president.


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22. August - 28. August 2011.