“I repeat once again that we, as Türkiye, are ready to do our best to overcome the current problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the consent of the parties,” Erdoğan said at a joint press conference with the three-member Presidential Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The council includes Croat member Zeljko Komsic, Serb member Milorad Dodik and Bosniak member and current chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sefik Dzaferovic.
He recalled that Bosnia and Herzegovina was preparing for an election to be held on Oct. 2 and said, “It is also important for us to make this visit on the eve of the elections.”
Erdoğan underlined that it is important to have an atmosphere that will contribute to the welfare of the country in the process leading up to the election.
The president criticized a move by Christian Schmidt, the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, who attempted controversial changes to the electoral law before the parliamentary elections in October.
“Three leaders should make the decision on the election law. The intervention of the high representative in this is also contrary to the requirements of democracy,” he emphasized.
“It is intervention to the process while there is less than a month until the elections,” Erdoğan said.
Türkiye and Bosnia decided to pave the way for their citizens to travel between the two countries with identity cards, he also said.
“In a new step, we have decided to make round trips between Bosnia and Herzegovina – Türkiye with identity cards,” Erdoğan stated noting that a similar agreement will be signed between Türkiye and Serbia on Sept. 7.
Türkiye’s policy supports stability and development of the Balkans and its integration process into Euro-Atlantic structures, Erdoğan said at Esenboga Airport before departing for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“We will be endeavoring to find a solution to the political crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina during our visit,” he stated.
Türkiye keeps its connection strong with the Balkans as the country has deep-rooted historical, human, and cultural ties in the region, and tries to avoid tensions, the president said.
“This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. As Türkiye, we follow a policy that supports the stability and development of the Balkans and the process of integration with the Euro-Atlantic structures,” he stated.
Greece is aware of Türkiye’s sensitivities on the issue of locking radar on Turkish jets, and Athens “tidies itself up,” President
Erdoğan also said adding that Ankara was having talks with NATO on the issue.
“On the issue of radar-lock, our sensitivity continues. Greece is aware of this,” he said.
Erdoğan reiterated his warning that Ankara may utilize the military if the Greek “harassment” continues.
“In the next period, Greece will decide what kind of relationship it will have with Türkiye with much more thought. Otherwise, as I always say, I say it again, all of a sudden, we can go suddenly one night,” he said.
After Bosnia and Herzegovina, Erdoğan will visit Serbia and Croatia.
Hurriyet Daily News