Türkiye ready to do best to overcome difficulties in Bosnia: Erdogan
Türkiye is ready to do its best to overcome the current difficulties in Bosnia-Herzegovina, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, News.az reports citing Daily Sabah.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Sarajevo with the representatives of the three-member Presidential Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which includes Zeljko Komsic, Croat member and current chairperson of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serb member Milorad Dodik and Bosniak member Sefik Dzaferovic, Erdogan said Türkiye-Bosnia-Herzegovina relations are "exceptional," voicing support for the country's territorial integrity and stability.
The two countries are working on passport-free travel, he announced, saying it will become effective soon.
Presidential Council members in Bosnia-Herzegovina should decide on election law, Erdogan also said adding that the high representative 'should not interfere in process'.
Dzaferovic, for his part, said that the two countries enjoy friendly relations, and their historical and cultural ties are strong, adding they want to enhance ties with Ankara.
He also appreciated Türkiye's role in mediation between Russia and Ukraine for allowing grain exports.
Before heading to Bosnia-Herzegovina to start his three-day Balkan tour, Erdogan also said Türkiye pursues a policy that supports stability and development of the Balkans and its integration process into Euro-Atlantic structures.
"We will be endeavoring to find a solution to the political crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina during our visit," he said.
"We are trying to avoid tensions while keeping our connection strong with this geography, where we have deep-rooted historical, human and cultural ties. We support the development of the Balkans with the projects we have implemented," Erdogan said.
Erdogan said Ankara witnesses that all the peoples in the region welcome with appreciation Türkiye's balanced and fair stance, adding, "We will maintain our stance in the period ahead."
"As Türkiye, the representative of peace, tranquility, development and equity in this region where tensions have recently risen, we continue to fulfill our duties," he added.
In the first leg of his visit, Erdogan was officially welcomed in Sarajevo.
The president held one-on-one and inter-delegation meetings with the three-member Presidential Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Erdogan later met members of the House of Representatives and the House of Peoples of Parliamentary Assembly, the highest legislative bodies in the country.
He also visited the grave of Alija Izetbegovic, the first Bosniak president of the country who died in 2003.
The Turkish leader was also expected to attend a business forum and visit the new building of the Islamic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
After Bosnia-Herzegovina, Erdogan will visit Serbia and then Croatia.
"During the talks, all aspects of bilateral relations will be reviewed, steps to further advance cooperation on various fields, joint infrastructure and investment projects in particular, will be discussed, and views will be exchanged regarding the developments in the Balkans and international matters," Ankara said in a statement.
During the president's three-day tour, business forums will be held in all three countries.
Erdogan will also attend the opening ceremony of the Islamic Cultural Center in Croatia's central city of Sisak, according to the statement.
Previously, Erdogan said Türkiye pays "special importance" to the Balkans, and that preserving peace and stability in the region is vital for the country.
The Balkans is a priority for Türkiye not only from the political, economic and geographical perspectives, but also due to its historical, cultural and human ties with the region.
In recent years, the Balkans region has become an attractive market for Turkish investors with its qualified workforce, business-friendly investment environment, and tax and financial incentives.
The region is often described as Türkiye's gateway to the EU thanks to its geographical location.
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Turkish diplomatic relations with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Türkiye last week vowed to boost "deep-rooted historical, human and cultural ties" between the countries in all areas.