BY FATMA GÖKSU
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is embarking on a three-day Balkan tour to ensure regional peace and develop economic relations. Erdoğan will visit Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia on Sept. 6-8.
During Erdoğan’s Balkan tour, bilateral and inter-delegation meetings will be held in Sarajevo, Belgrade and Zagreb. Turkish business people will also accompany Erdoğan on his trip. It is expected that new agreements will be signed, especially on the development of economic relations.
It is expected that new cooperation in the field of energy will come to the agenda during the meetings in Serbia, where Turkish business people have significant investments.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic visited Türkiye in January and invited President Erdoğan to his country. It is aimed to increase the trade volume between the two countries, which is currently $2 billion, to $5 billion.
During these meetings, the tension between Kosovo and Serbia, which has increased recently, is also expected to be discussed.
During his visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Erdoğan will emphasize that Türkiye will continue to support the territorial integrity and stability of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as it has done so far.
The economic and commercial cooperation between Türkiye and Croatia, whose bilateral relations are in their 30th year, has gained strong momentum in recent years. In this context, the trade volume between the two countries is expected to reach $1 billion.
“During the talks, all aspects of the 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.
Erdoğan will also attend the opening ceremony of the Islamic Cultural Center in Croatia’s central city of Sisak, according to the statement.
Previously, Erdoğan 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.