Wednesday, March 26, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 26,2008) – Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo that cooperation between the two friendly countries is good and that it should be improved in all the sectors that has not been done.

Spiric told the press after the meeting that the officials agreed that the friendly relations are not followed by a good economic cooperation and cooperation in all other sectors.

”The 2007 data state that we imported 270 million Bosnian Marks worth of merchandise and exported only 40 million Bosnian Marks. That says that the exchange and import-export balance has not been for the benefit of Bosnia. Strength of the Turkish economy guarantees almost certainly a higher level of trade exchange and we will try to correct that trade misbalance. We are pleased that there is an interest at the Turkish market for Bosnian goods”, Spiric said.

Spiric stated that Turkey has progressed on the scale of the most important investors in Bosnia from 12th to 9th position. He added that the investments in Maglaj and Tuzla are important for Bosnia. They opened jobs for about 1.000 Bosnian citizens.

”Certain problems in relation to the provision of materials should not be an obstacle to investment processes and we will do all in our power to remove all the misunderstandings”, Spiric stated.

As far as bilateral agreements are concerned, he is of the opinion that it is very important that the agreement presuppositions have been created.

”We expected and we now have been promised the support of friendly Turkey at the upcoming NATO Summit, which is very important for Bosnia, for we are about to be granted the intensive dialogue status”, Spiric stated.

He thanked the Turkish Prime Minister for supporting Bosnia in the process of stabilization, perseverance of peace and reconstruction. He also thanked for the projects of the Bosnian cultural and historical heritage reconstruction, like the Drina Bridge in Visegrad that was certified yesterday by UNESCO as a part of the World heritage. He also thanked for the engagement in reconstruction processes of the Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka and the Konjic Bridge.

”All of them are projects the Turkish government wants to support and we are greatful for that”, Spiric stated.

He informed the Turkish Prime Minister that Bosnia will support Turkey in hosting the EXPO exhibit in 2015.

”This visit is a sign of a new, stronger cooperation between the two friendly countries. We expressed readiness for cooperation in all sectors”, Spiric stated.

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey and Bosnia share enormous cultural and historical values and that, starting from this fact, relations between the two states should be brought to another, higher level.

According to him, the meeting focused on sectors which enable intensification of cooperation and in which mutual support could be made applicable.

”We again emphasized the importance Turkey gives to the perseverance of sovereignty and territorial integrity of internationally recognized state borders of Bosnia, as well as to the perseverance of stability and peace. We also asked for a possibility to discuss events in the region and international relations”, the Turkish Prime Minister stated.

The meeting also focused on Bosnia's EU and NATO association processes, as well as Bosnia’s status within NATO.

”We emphasized readiness and determination to support Bosnia on the Euro-Atlantic road. That is primarily related to the NATO Summit in Bucharest”, Prime Minister Erdogan stated and added that there is a need for mutual understanding related to the Balkan countries and perseverance of sustainable peace and safety in the area.

The Turkish Prime Minister expressed determination to intensify and improve relations with Bosnia in all the sectors.

Answering the journalist’s question to comment the Turkish view of the current political situation in Bosnia, Prime Minister Erdogan stated that Turkey sees Bosnia from the point of view of its unity.

”Divisions always result in losses and make one lose power. In order for you not to weaken, territorial integrity is important in our view. We are of the opinion that it is of the outmost importance that the consciousness of being a part of Bosnia is developed between the people, for Bosnia is a good example of various ethnic groups, people of different cultures and confessions, living together”, the Turkish Prime Minister stated.

The Turkish state delegation also met yesterday with members of the Bosnian Parliamentary Assembly’s Houses’ Collegiums..

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