Selaković: Relations between Serbia and Turkey at the highest level in modern history

31. Aug 2021.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Selaković, talked today with his Turkish colleague, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and assessed that the overall cooperation between the two countries is extremely good and that it is at the highest level in our modern history.

At a joint press conference, Minister Selaković said that the cooperation was extremely good thanks to the excellent personal relations between the Presidents of Serbia and Turkey, Aleksandar Vučić and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose meeting he expects by the end of the year.

"Serbia is open to strengthening relations and cooperation with the Republic of Turkey, and a very important place in strengthening those relations and their development is occupied by the good practice of holding the High Council for Cooperation between our two countries", said Minister Selaković.

He stated that he talked with his Turkish colleague about complex regional issues, that they exchanged positions and assessments of the situation in the region, and that he also informed him about the current situation regarding the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

"We have unequivocally agreed that all open issues should be resolved through dialogue and peacefully", underlined Minister Selaković.

He said that the Republic of Serbia views the Republic of Turkey as a very important actor in ensuring peace and stability in our region.

"In the future, we will continue to cooperate, to help each other, and only in that way can we benefit and improve our friendly relations", stressed Minister Selaković, who expects the next meeting with his Turkish counterpart in October.

Minister Selaković announced that he and his Turkish counterpart would attend the ceremonial opening of the Turkish Consulate General in Novi Pazar, and that Minister Çavuşoğlu would visit the section of the highway between Novi Pazar and Tutin, where Turkish companies are working.

Minister Selaković emphasized that the opening of the Turkish consulate in Novi Pazar is certainly a confirmation of a level of trust that exists between the two countries.

He stated that Serbia and Turkey, despite the corona virus pandemic in 2020, recorded a record trade exchange of 1.320 billion euros, which in the first six months of this year exceeded 765 million euros, while the medium-term goal is to reach two billion euros.

Minister Selaković said that Serbia and Turkey have increased the volume of trade fivefold in the last ten years, and that the inflow of Turkish direct investments has significantly increased.

Minister Çavuşoğlu thanked Minister Selaković for the warm welcome, as well as President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić at the reception.

He pointed out that there are excellent relations between Serbia and Turkey and that they are improving every day, and said that the two countries have an important role in the stability of the region.

The Turkish chief of diplomacy stated that he conveyed to the Serbian hosts the invitation of the Turkish president to participate in the meeting of the high-level Cooperation Council, which is to be held in Turkey for the third time.

He emphasized the importance of opening a Turkish consulate in Novi Pazar and assessed that it would be of great importance for developing relations, and he also spoke about the importance of opening an office in Nis as assistance for Turkish citizens passing through Serbia.

The Turkish minister emphasized that the trade exchange is increasing every day, that the two countries have mutually accepted corona virus vaccination certificates, which he believes will have a very favorable effect on tourism, as well as on the effort to make travel easier for the citizens of the two countries, using only ID cards.

Answering a journalist's question about the situation in B&H, Minister Selaković said that any kind of constructive approach and promotion of dialogue as a means to resolve all open issues and problems in the region is something that Serbia has supported and will continue to support, and Minister Çavuşoğlu stressed that peace, stability, productivity and a good situation in all countries of the region are important for Turkey.