Izetbegovic: Both Merkel and Erdogan are welcome in Bosnia

NEWS 10.05.2018 11:28
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Source: Predsjedništvo BiH

There is no reason for concern regarding Turkey's President Erdogan’s upcoming campaign rally in Sarajevo, the Bosniak member of the country’s tripartite Presidency and leader of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Bakir Izetbegovic said on Thursday.

The Turkish President said he intends to hold a Sarajevo rally for the Turkish diaspora in Europe in May. The venue where the event is to take place on May 20 has already been booked.

Several European countries have banned similar gatherings last year.

“We can go to Germany to lobby for votes too, for example for the SDA,” Izetbegovic said, adding that Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vucic and Croatia’s Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, also visit Bosnia to hold election rallies there, while the President of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity also often goes to Serbia to gain support.

Izetbegovic said that he told German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, at a Wednesday meeting, that “Erdogan is a friend of Bosnia, Erdogan and Turkey have done nothing bad to Bosnia,” and that there is no reason for anyone to have any objection to Erdogan’s visit.

“I told her (Merkel) that this is a gathering of the Union of European Turkish Democrats, their sixth Congress, which will be attended by Erdogan and me,” Izetbegovic said.

He added that he does not think Bosnia could have any problems because of the visit.

“We will have a working visit (by Erdogan), and we can have something good for Bosnia come out of it. I don’t see why the visit should be problematic for Germany. Neither Merkel nor Erdogan are bosses in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and both are welcome here,” Izetbegovic said.

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