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Turkey calls on EU, NATO to stay open to Balkans July 4, 2010

Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Turkey.
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Davutoglu said, Turkey was a natural actor in the Balkan geography.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday full inclusiveness should always be at the forefront.

From such an angle, we can not exclude Kosovo. Kosovo’s integration with the international community is crucial for the stability of the whole region, Davutoglu said.

In a speech delivered at the beginning of the “Official Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs” of Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Istanbul, Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Bosnia-Herzegovina went through a very difficult period.

We stress the importance of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and international recognition of the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We have a responsibility to support Bosnia-Herzegovina while it makes reforms. Accordingly, we have to pass on our experiences to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Davutoglu said.

The trilateral consultative mechanism with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia is an effective one. I thank the foreign ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia for the trilateral Balkan summit in Istanbul on April 24, Davutoglu said.

The trilateral mechanism between Turkey, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina is crucial for peace and stability in the region, Davutoglu said.

Bosnia’s receiving an invitation from NATO for Membership Action Plan was an important step. We are waiting impatiently to see Bosnia-Herzegovina’s flag at NATO HQ in Brussels, Davutoglu said.

Touching on Turkish-Serbian ties, Davutoglu said that Serbia will play an important role for the bright future of the region.

I want to underline the progress made in Turkish-Serbian relations in the recent period. We share a will to deepen our relations to the level of strategic partnership, Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu advised that Serbia’s relations with Kosovo continue through diplomacy.

We welcome Serbia’s application for EU membership and extend full support in this regard, Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu said that the SEECP will go forward under the term presidency of Montenegro.

I wish success to Montenegro during its SEECP term presidency. If needed, Turkey will always extend its support to make the SEECP more influential, Davutoglu also said.

“Same visa exemption”

Davutoglu said the relatives in the Balkans and Turks who emigrated from the Balkans make it a must for Turkey to closely monitor the developments in the Balkans and that Turkey was a natural actor in the Balkan geography.

Davutoglu said that Turkey’s approach to the Balkans was not based on interests but rather focused on the human element.

All policies that do not consider humans as the center are bound to fail, Davutoglu said.

In order to facilitate stability in the Balkans, we must learn our lessons from the past and try to include all sides in the regional process, Davutoglu said.

The goals of EU and NATO are crucial for stability and welfare of the Balkans, Davutoglu said.

We welcome EU’s decision to lift visa requirements for Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro. We hope that the visa exemption would also apply to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. I would like to remind that, if the same visa exemption is not applied to Turkish citizens, such a regulation would be unjust and imperfect, Davutoglu said.

I believe that today’s meeting of foreign ministers would make contributions to the bright future of the Balkans, Davutoglu said.

We dream of a Balkan region in which peace is dominant and there is stability and welfare. We wish to see that cooperation between the neighboring countries replace feelings of revenge and selfishness, Davutoglu said.

I realize that this is rather a difficult aim. Yet the Balkans have the capacity to achieve this, Davutoglu said.

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