Wednesday, September 3, 2008


ANKARA, Turkey (September 3,2008) - The Turkish President Abdullah Gul today highlighted the importance of Turkey's ties with Bosnia, saying that "we maintain our efforts to protect Bosnia's sovereignty, political unity and territorial integrity."

Gul made the remarks at a joint news conference after his talks with the Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic, who is currently in Ankara for a state visit.Bosnian President Silajdzic arrived in the Turkish capital Ankara today as the guest of Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

Gul welcomed Silajdzic as well as accompanying members of the Bosnian State Presidency Zeljko Komsic and Nebojsa Radmanovic at Cankaya Presidential Palace.

After that,Gul and Silajdzic held a bilateral meeting.They held a joint news conference after their meeting.

"Turkey is an influential member of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, the international body charged with implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia. We maintain our efforts to protect Bosnia's sovereignty, political unity and territorial integrity. Since we attach great importance to a lasting peace in the Balkans, we support the multi-cultural structure in Bosnia. Therefore, we keep an equal distance with all ethnic groups," Turkish President Gul said during the news conference.

"Bosnia signed a partnership agreement with the EU in June of 2008 and initiated intensified dialogue with NATO following the summit in Bucharest. There are quite important developments. He hope that Bosnia will speed up its reform process and become member of those international structures. This will help its becoming an influential and sustainable state," he said.

Gul added that his talks with his Bosnian guest focused on economic, political, cultural and commercial relations as well as the issues of energy, tourism and transportation.

Bosnian President Silajdzic, on his part, said that an environment of peace, stability and prosperity should be created in the region without wasting any more time.

Referring to recent tension between Georgia and Russia, President Silajdzic said that anything within the international law should be made to stop killing of civilians.

President Silajdzic also touched on good political and economic relations between Bosnia and Turkey and called on Turkish businessmen to make more investments in Bosnia.

President Silajdzic and the accompanying delegation have also visited the Turkish parliament and met Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan.

Speaking at the meeting, Toptan said that Turkey had extended full support to development of Bosnia. He said that he was planning to pay a visit to Bosnia in the coming months.

Toptan said that Turkey attached great importance to political and territorial integrity of Bosnia, and extended support to the country's efforts to integrate with European institutions.

Meanwhile, Bosnian President Silajdzic said on his part that two of Bosnia's most important strategic targets were accession to the EU and NATO membership.

President Silajdzic also added that the economic relations between Bosnia and Turkey should be further improved.

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