Serbian president cancels trilateral meeting with Turkey and Bosnia

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-27 8:32:27

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic canceled Saturday his planned participation in trilateral meeting between Turkey, Bosnia and Serbia, demanding apology from Ankara, in response to recent statements of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, made during his visit to Kosovo, local media reported Saturday.

Turkish PM said on October 23 that "Turkey is Kosovo and Kosovo is Turkey," while accompanied by his counterparts from Kosovo and Albania, Hashim Thaci and Edi Rama in southern Kosovo town Prizren.

"By taking my office as President I have also inherited good bilateral relations with Turkey, established by my predecessor, and I tried to turn these relations into friendship between two nations," Nikolic said in written statement: "All the time I have warned my Turkish counterpart, that it is at least indecent from Turkish officials to ask from other countries to recognize so-called independence of Kosovo."

Serbian President evaluated statement as scandalous and marked them 'reckless destruction of established good and friendly relations, and disrespectful and rude trampling of the sovereignty of Serbia.'

Nikolic added: "I expect that reason will overcome and that Turkey will apologize to Serbia for this aggression without arms. Until then, as President of Serbia I suspend my participation in trilateral meetings of Serbia Bosnia and Turkey," concluded Nikolic as local media reported.

Erdogan's statement infuriated Serbian government. Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic stressed that this is not by any means a way to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Trilateral meeting between Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia was initiated by Ankara and become regular in last three years: first one took place in Istanbul 2010, second in 2012 in Karadjordjevo - Serbia, and third in May 2013 again in Ankara.

Turkey was among the first countries to recognize Kosovo as independent state in 2008, which Serbia bitterly opposes.

Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia refuses to accept Kosovo's independence.

Posted in: Europe

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