World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey and Serbia boosted the bilateral relationship, signing several agreements in various fields, including lifting visa, during Turkish primer's visit to Belgrade despite Kosovo has still appears an issue on which two country are at odds.
The Turkish prime minister said on Monday that peace in the Balkans could be strengthened with the contributions of Serbia.
Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said peace, stability and prosperity in the Balkans could undoubtedly be improved with Serbia's contributions.
"Turkey welcomes and supports Serbia's integration with the European Union (EU), and this common goal we share will contribute to peace and stability in the Balkans," Erdogan told a joint press conference with his Serbian counterpart Mirko Cvetkovic in Belgrade.
Erdogan said Turkey saw Serbia as a leading actor in the Balkans, and Cvetkovic and he had reaffirmed their views on promoting cooperation in regional matters, particularly in maintaining territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Turkish prime minister said Cvetkovic and he also discussed what could be done for bilateral and regional relations, particularly the peace and stability in the Balkans.
Also speaking in the press conference, Cvetkovic said his country wanted to see the Balkans as a region of peace and stability, not a region of conflicts, from now on.
Erdogan is paying a two-day formal visit to Serbia. He had participated in a memorial service for the victims of the Srebrenica massacre that was carried out 15 years ago.
During Erdogan's visit, six aggrement between two country were signed. Turkey and Serbia lifted visa procedures.
Turkey and Serbia also signed five more cooperation agreements, particularly one regarding contracting services.
Erdogan said Turkey was encouraging its businessmen to make use of the economic potential in Serbia, and did not have any doubts that this country would do everything in its power to help Turkish entrepreneurs.
The Turkish prime minister said Turkish and Serbian governments would do everything they could to open military airports to use of civil aviation with the cooperation of defense ministries.
Erdogan said: “I believe that our stance on Kosovo will never shadow our bilateral relations with Serbia.”
"The Turkey-Serba relations were in a different position, we have to evaluate like this," Erdogan added.
It is usefull to see the stability in Balkans under the democratization process, he said.
Erdogan also praises the resolution passed in the Serb parliament and also participation of President Boris Tadic in the Srebrenica genocide commamoration.
He said that “we will overcome” such troubles via such steps.
Kosovo's Albanian majority backed by the Western countries declared independence in 2008 nine years after Serbia moved ethnic cleansing in a 1998-1999 war. Nato stopped the Serbian forces in a 78-day bombing.
Kosovo is recognized as an independent state by 60 countries from mostly European Union and also Muslim countries around world such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia.
Serb forces killed an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 civilians in Kosovo in 1998-99, the great majority Albanians.
Shortly after the bombing began, more than 800,000 Albanians fled or were driven from their homes.