It is necessary to work together with the international community to overcome the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after meeting with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Ankara on Tuesday.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Erdogan said that all parties should refrain from moves that might harm efforts to preserve Bosnia and Herzegovina’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in the present crisis triggered by the statements and behavior of Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who considers Bosnia and Herzegovina to be a non-functioning state and insists on independence for the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska.
Erdogan said that Serbia’s support for the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina was important for peace and stability in the entire region, according to the electronic media in Belgrade. Turkey will continue doing all it can to help defuse tensions in the Balkans, he added.
Vucic met with Dodik in Belgrade last week, calling on him and all political groups in Republika Srpska to participate in the work of the joint institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina as the best way to protect the interests of the Serbs and RS.
Erdogan said that he and Vucic agreed to hold a joint meeting with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency in Belgrade or in Istanbul, following Serbian elections in April. He said that the purpose of the meeting would be to ensure Bosnia and Herzegovina’s territorial integrity.
Vucic said it was important to “push our countries forward, draw lessons from the past and build a better future for the region.”