Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has declared that Turkish-Serbian friendship will guarantee long-term peace in the Balkans following his meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade.
Davutoglu said, “Ones could try to provoke the Serbs against the Turks and the Turks against the Serbs. Prejudices could be created, but our expectation from business world is to break down these prejudices making the friendship between Turkey and Serbia backbone of the Balkans peace,” speaking during a dinner organised by the Turkey-Serbia Business Forum on Monday.
“We have a resolute stance concerning this friendship. Turkey holds such a vision toward Serbia. Our demand from your community [Turkey-Serbia Business Forum] is to project this togetherness created by our political will into economic life,” Turkish prime minister stated.
He also informed that the countries “have decided on formation of a high-level cooperation council between Turkey and Serbia," according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.
Turkish-Serbian relations go centuries back, having a complicated state of affairs with ups and downs. Both nations had long lived under the Ottoman Empire tutelage after Serbia had been a part of the Empire in the 16th century.
“If the Turks and Serbs stand shoulder to shoulder, it will surely be the best message we could give to the people of the Balkans,” Davutoglu emphasised.
He pointed out that the best way toward peace has been going through economic interdependence between the two countries indicating that Turkey would like to sustain the existing political mechanism regarding the Trilateral Summit of Turkey, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The trilateral mechanism was a start in 2010 in Turkey, after the three countries held extensive talks on common issues.
During the first summit in April 2010, the respective foreign ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia had reportedly met in an exceptional framework, after the Bosnian war, as a result of intensive efforts of Turkey.
The Serbian Parliament previously accepted a resolution on March 30, 2010 condemning the Srebrenica genocide committed by the predecessor Serbian government-affiliated armed groups against Bosnian civilians in July 1995.
The genocide, which was set up under the former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic and his aide Ratko Mladic, resulted in the death of 8,372 Bosnian Muslims.
Following the critical meeting in 2010, Bosnia and Herzegovina made a decision to appoint its ambassador to Serbia.
Davutoglu underlined at the Serbian capital that “If these three countries have been together, it will be impossible to have a conflict based on sect or ethnicity in the Balkans.”
“If we stay together, we could establish multicultural peace in the Balkans,” he added.