During his first official visit to Montenegro, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is among the top 10 countries that invest the most in the Balkan country.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and President of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic (R) hold a joint press conference in Podgorica, Montenegro on August 28, 2021.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and President of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic (R) hold a joint press conference in Podgorica, Montenegro on August 28, 2021. (AA)

Turkey and Montenegro have set a trade volume target of $250 million, the visiting Turkish president said.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic on Saturday in the city of Cetinje, the former royal capital of Montenegro.

Addressing a joint news conference, Erdogan said that his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro shows Turkey's responsibility to the Balkan countries.

"We set a (bilateral trade) target of $250 million," he said.

“The presence of the Turkish private sector in Montenegro increases our trade volume. Turkey is among the top 10 countries that invest the most in Montenegro. To date, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has carried out 399 projects and activities in Montenegro with a total value of more than €20 million. Since it was founded, the Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Center has given Turkish education to 1,686 students.”

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Bosnia's unity 'very important'

The unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina is very important for Turkey, and it will help overcome disagreements, he asserted.

"During our meetings, we also exchanged views on international developments concerning the Balkans and our countries. We sincerely believe that Montenegro's European Union accession would contribute to peace and prosperity in the entire region," said Erdogan.

"Turkey has a historical responsibility for the Balkans. For this reason, we are making intensive visits to Balkan countries. Unity in Bosnia is very important to Turkey, and I believe that unity will help overcome disagreements," said Erdogan.

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‘NATO, EU should welcome Balkan countries’

Djukanovic said that Turkey has a keen understanding of the stability deficit in the Western Balkans and the need to overcome that deficit through the processes of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

"That is why Turkey insists on open doors from NATO and the EU for the countries of the Western Balkans. President Erdogan and I agreed that there is a real space for improving economic ties, for boosting foreign trade and investment," said Djukanovic.

The Turkish leader on Saturday arrived in Montenegro's capital Podgorica, the second stop on his mini-tour of two Western Balkan countries.

Later, Erdogan is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic.

This is Erdogan's first-ever official visit to the Balkan country of about 622,000 people.

During face-to-face meetings, bilateral relations will be reviewed and steps discussed for deepening cooperation.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday was the first stop of Erdogan’s tour.

Erdogan is accompanied by Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Trade Minister Mehmet Mus, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, and presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.

Source: AA