Turkish President meets Serbian President

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said in a dinner with Serbian President, "we want all problems in Balkans to be solved in a way which will be an example of alliance of civilizations, not clash of civilizations."

Turkish President meets Serbian President
Turkish President Abdullah Gul met Thursday his Serbian counterpart Boris Tadic at Cankaya Presidential Residence.

The two presidents held a joint press conference after the meeting where Gul said they discussed bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues.

Gul said possible steps which can be taken jointly to contribute to peace and prosperity in the Balkans were also taken up during his meeting with Tadic.

"We are attaching great importance to the stability in the Balkans and we believe that problems of the region will be solved through peaceful means," Gul said when responding to a question about the Kosovo issue.

"I sincerely believe that Serbia, Kosova and Bosnia-Herzegovina will all be a part of the European Union one day and I think that these countries can settle their issues in peace dialogue," Gul said.

"Serbia will prefer a solution"

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said, "we want all problems in Balkans to be solved in a way which will be an example of alliance of civilizations, not clash of civilizations."

Gul also hosted a dinner in honor of President of Serbia Boris Tadic at Cankaya Presidential Palace in Ankara on Thursday.

Gul said, "we believe Serbia --which will have an important role in regional stability-- will prefer a solution (for the existing problems in our region) which will contribute to peace and stability as well as serve settlement of a consensus and tolerance culture."

Gul expressed hope that the meeting, which will be held in Istanbul with participation of businessmen of the two countries tomorrow, will open a new period in the aspect of economic cooperation.

Noting that tourism is very important for peoples of the two country to know each other, Gul said that Turkey hosts nearly 200,000 Serbian tourists each year.

On the other hand, Serbian President Tadic said that Turkey and Serbia do not have a border but the two countries are sharing the same interests, adding that it is necessary to undertake a big responsibility to live in this common region.

Tadic said that problems in the region should be solved through peace.

He also said that the biggest problem in Serbia is the status of Kosovo, adding that Serbia wants to live together with its Albanian citizens, and Serbia does not want a war. Tadic called on both Albanian officials and UN representatives to produce solutions. He said that any problem, which will emerge in these lands in the future, may prevent integration of other countries in Balkans with Europe.

Tadic touched on the cooperation and infrastructure activities which are envisaged to strengthen the economic relations between Turkey and Serbia, and wanted visa procedures to be lifted.

Potential for Turkish businessmen

President of Serbia Boris Tadic said that Turkey and Serbia should eliminate the prejudices towards each other.

Holding a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Thursday, Tadic said that there is a big potential for Turkish businessmen to invest in Serbia.

Noting that both Turkey and Serbia have some problems, Tadic said that the biggest problem of Serbia is the future of status of Kosovo which concerns the integrity of the country.

Tadic said that Kosovo is past of Serbia as well as it is a national interest. He stressed that Serbia does not want a war.

Tadic said that Serbia asks from Turkey to act consistent regarding Kosovo issue, thus the relations between the two countries can further develop.

When a reporter asked what kind of assurance did they give to Turkish side regarding the high Muslim population in Kosovo, Tadic said that Serbia is a democrat country, adding that religious rights in Serbia are protected by constitution.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Kasım 2007, 18:51
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