Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Bosnia and Herzegovina Cihad Erginay said that BiH is one of the most important partners of Turkey in the Balkans, and that a comprehensive and intensive relations of Turkey with the Balkan countries have a defining role in the foreign policy of his country towards this region.
“Asides being a friendly and brotherly country, Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of our most important partners in the region,” said Ambassador Erginay.
Speaking on the topic “What Turkey wants in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region?”, Turkish Ambassador reminded that millions of Turkish citizens originate from the Balkans, who have in the past emigrated to this country, and who represent a kind of bridge of cooperation with the region and contribute to the conservation of historical, cultural and interpersonal relationships.
At the same time, he pointed out that his country is making efforts to raise the level of political stability and economic development in the region and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Our country wants Bosnia and Herzegovina to be strong, prosperous country in the Balkans, a country that is fully integrated into Euro-Atlantic institutions, that has good relations with its neighbors and that has the best use of its human resources and economic potential, as well as a country that would stand as an example of stability in a multicultural environment,” explained Ambassador Erginay.
“In terms of importance that Turkey pays to internal stability and external security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to accelerate the process of completing the membership in the European Union and NATO, our country is trying at every opportunity it gets to give its constructive contribution, either through support in BiH, or those under the auspices of NATO and the EU,” said Erginay.
He said that, in this context, Turkey actively encourages the steps taken towards resolving problems concerning the registration of military property as a condition for the urgent need to initiate the MAP (Membership Action Plan in NATO), and it provides full support to the initiative under the leadership of Great Britain and Germany regarding BiH’s membership in the EU.
When asked about Turkish investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Erginay said that Turkey is one of the largest investors in BiH, if we take into account all the investments in BiH since the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995.
He recalled that a large investment in BiH, among other things, represents the arrival of Turkish Ziraat Bankand TIKA with its projects, thanks to which a large number of BiH citizens have been employed, or have indirectly supported the development of economy and tourism in BiH, which remains outside such statistics.
When asked about the issue of Sutorina, i.e. determining the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, and the possible implications for regional relations, Erginay said that the issue of borders throughout history has always been an issue of neighboring countries to argue, or to negotiate.
“It is our wish that the two countries find a solution on the common border through dialogue, and that this issue does not get a political undertone, or a new political dimension. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro have long been neighbors and it is our wish that the two countries sit down and resolve this issue as good neighbors,” said Ambassador of Turkey to BiH Cihad Erginay.