Serbian president "to assist" Turkey in dispute with Russia

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has accepted the invitation of Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu "to assist Turkey in the dispute with Russia."

Source: Tanjug

This was announced by the president's press service on Tuesday, after Nikolic's meeting in Belgrade with Davutoglu.

A statement said that the Turkish prime minister conveyed to Nikolic "the desire of the Turkish side to have a normal relationship with Moscow."

He also "conveyed the greetings of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and expressed hope that the two presidents will meet soon."

Davutoglu also gave a positive assessment of the Belgrade-Pristina negotiations, while Nikolic, commenting on the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, said:

"It is especially painful for us when our friends promote Kosovo's independence. Here I have Turkey, too, in mind."

The president also that Serbia is negotiating with Pristina and making every effort so that all citizens in Kosovo and Metohija can live in peace and stability. The effort, he added, "should be helped by everyone in an open and transparent manner."

Nikolic told Davutoglu that his country wants to have good relations with Turkey, "especially as it has citizens of Islamic faith in a part of its territory, who have special ties with Turkey."

"Serbia does not interfere in relations between the two Muslim religious communities," Nikolic stressed, in reference to Serbia's rival Islamic organizations, and added that Turkey "can contribute to smoothing over this problem, as it can, through investments, help develop the part of Serbia with a predominantly Muslim population."

Nikolic said that Serbia "wants to become a full member of the European Union, as does Turkey," adding that Serbia is harmonizing its regulations with EU standards.

However, he added, "Serbia has its pride, which cannot be drowned in unjustified and legally baseless demands."

Underlining that his country meets the conditions for full membership he remarked that "as it does not expect others to fulfill its every wish, it also cannot be expected to fulfill every wish of others."

"The opening of the first (EU accession) negotiations chapters means that Serbia is a good place for investment. I invite investors from Turkey to invest in Serbia," said Nikolic.

Davutoglu noted "the importance of Serbia to Turkey " and said it was the third country he visited since recently becoming prime minister.

"The size of a country is not measured in geographical terms. For us, Serbia is a large and important country," Davutoglu stressed.

The Turkish official also emphasized that economic cooperation between the two countries is "a priority" and added that "good relations will have positive repercussions."


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