Serbia to boost ties with Turkey

Serbia wants to further develop friendly relations with Turkey in the future, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday.

"We want to keep our best level relations and further develop friendly relations in the future," state-run Anadolu news agency cited Vucic as saying after a working lunch with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey has an important influence in the Western Balkans, which is “very important from our perspective”, Vucic said, adding that there is excellent communication between the two countries. “Turkey is among one of the most important regional powers and also a power (moving) to a more prominent position in the world every day.”

Vucic said he and Erdoğan also discussed the dialogue process between Serbia and Kosovo.

"I listened to Mr. Erdoğan's stance on this issue and I explained our position to him. He treats Serbia with respect," noted the Serbian president.

Serbia and Kosovo have both recently signed separate agreements with the United States to pursue closer political and commercial relations and Pristina has indicated that it will establish relations with Israel.

Both Balkan countries declared their intention to establish their embassies in Jerusalem, a move that Erdoğan condemned as Muslim countries begin to break a decades-long taboo of normalising ties with Israel.