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Turkey increased its high level visits to Balkans states in 2009. January 12, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Yunanistan.
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There have been ideal relations between Turkey and Romania as described by statesmen from the two countries.

In 2009, State Minister Zafer Caglayan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu paid formal visits to Romania.

Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc was in Turkey to sign an inter-governmental agreement for Nabucco. During the visit, Prime Minister Boc met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Romania was the host country of the Black Sea Energy & Economy Forum in October. A delegation led by Ministry of Energy & Natural Resources Undersecretary Metin Kilci attended the forum on behalf of Turkey. Energy projects in the region, energy safety and energy diversity were high on agenda of the meeting.

Despite the global financial crisis, Turkey-Romania trade volume exceeded 7 billion USD.

“First Turkish president”

Turkey-Serbia relations, which almost came to a halt after Kosovo declared its independence in 2008 and Turkey became one of first countries recognizing Kosovo’s independence, have regained momentum.

President Abdullah Gul became the first Turkish president paying a state visit to Serbia after 23 years.

Gul met with Serbian President Boris Tadic and Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic in Belgrade. State Minister Faruk Celik and Industry & Trade Minister Omer Dincer accompanied the president during the visit.

President Gul’s visit has melted ice between the two countries and added momentum to the bilateral relations.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug also paid official visits to Serbia in 2009.

“Ties with Albania”

Turkey-Albania relations have continued to improve in 2009.

Trade volume between Turkey and Albania increased to 350 million USD in 2009 from 35 million USD in 2003.

President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan paid state visits to Albania. Foreign Minister Davutoglu also visited Tirana.

Albanian Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Ilir Meta attended an informal meeting of foreign ministers of southeast European countries in Istanbul in October.

“Bosnia ties”

Former Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, former Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, State Minister Faruk Celik, State Minister Faruk Nazif Ozak, Environment & Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu and Industry & Trade Minister Nihat Ergun paid official visits to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2009.

A number of ministers from Bosnia-Herzegovina visited Turkey to hold talks with Turkish authorities to further improve bilateral relations between the two countries.

Economic and commercial relations could not reach the desired level in 2009 because of the political problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Trade volume between the two countries became 160 million USD.

Meanwhile, Turkey maintained its contributions to the restoration of Ottoman-era works in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A historical bridge near capital city Sarajevo was restored by Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA). Turkish state ministers Faruk Celik and Faruk Nafiz Ozak attended the inauguration of the bridge in June.

“High-level visits”

There were mutual high-level visits between Turkey and Macedonia.

During a visit by Macedonian Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska to Ankara in April, a cultural cooperation program was signed between Turkish and Macedonian culture ministries for the period of 2009 and 2011.

Turkey-Macedonia Business Forum took place in Istanbul in December. Prime Minister Erdogan made the opening remarks of the forum. Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Transportation Minister Mile Yana Kievski and Minister without Portfolio of Turkish descent Hadi Neziri were also in attendance at the forum.

“Recognition of Kosovo”

Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, has made more efforts for recognition of its independence in the international platforms. Accordingly, number of countries which recognized Kosovo’s independence rose to 64. Despite objection of Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia have established diplomatic ties and signed a border treaty.

Former speaker of Turkish parliament, Koksal Toptan, and former Foreign Minister Ali Babacan visited Kosovo.

“Free trade agreement”

Relations between Turkey and Montenegro have further improved as a result of mutual high-level visits.

President Gul, former Parliament Speaker Toptan and Foreign Minister Davutoglu paid formal visits to this smallest country in the Balkans.

During the visits, a number of protocols were signed to develop cooperation between the two countries.

The free trade agreement between Turkey and Montenegro was ratified by President Gul.

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