- Title: Erdogan visits Serbia as Turkey prepares for offensive in Syria
- Date: 7th October 2019
- Summary: ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** TURKISH AND SERBIAN FLAGS FLYING ERDOGAN AND VICUC ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE, SITTING DOWN CAMERA OPERATORS FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION) "We support the Euro-Atlantic direction of the Balkans, and we are trying to assist the countries of the region to leave behind their existing problems and to further increase their dialogue and cooperation. And in that regard, I attach great importance to the fact that we will be holding the Turkey-Serbia-Bosnia-Herzegovina tripartite summit tomorrow which had not been done for a long time. And following the summit tomorrow as leaders we will be initiating the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway project by laying the foundations for the Sremska Raca-Kuzmin line, and in this way we will be constructing a new friendship and peace bridge that will connect the hearts in the region." JOURNALISTS WORKING ERDOGAN AND VUCIC SHAKING HANDS JOURNALISTS DURING NEWS CONFERENCE VARIOUS OF ERDOGAN AND VUCIC HOLDING MEMORIAL POSTAL STAMPS MARKING 140 YEARS OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND SERBIA, AND WALKING AWAY VARIOUS OF TURKISH AND SERBIAN DELEGATIONS SEATED FOR ECONOMIC COUNCIL MEETING CAMERA OPERATORS FILMING TURKISH DELEGATION WITH ERDOGAN AND TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER MEVLUT CAVUSOGLU TURKISH AND SERBIAN DELEGATION SEATED FOR BILATERAL MEETING VUCIC AND SERBIAN DELEGATION SEATED CAMERAS FILMING JOURNALISTS LEAVING MEETING ROOM
- Embargoed: 21st October 2019 16:38
- Keywords: Erdogan in Serbia Turkish offensive Syria war northern Syria Erdogan in Balkans
- Location: BELGRADE, SERBIA
- City: BELGRADE, SERBIA
- Country: Serbia
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003B03LS1Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: As Turkey plans incursion in north Syria, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan began a two-day visit to Serbia on Monday (October 7) to promote economic cooperation between the two countries.
During his joint news conference with the Serbian president, Erdogan did not comment on the development of the looming Turkish incursion into northern Syria, which is set to reshape the map of the Syrian conflict once again.
Asked about Turkey's increased involvement in the Balkans, Erdogan said Turkey supported the Euro-Atlantic direction of the region and was trying to assist the countries of the region to leave behind their existing problems.
Since 2000, Turkey has been involved in a number of regional initiatives in the Balkans, and its trade with Western Balkan countries has been steadily increasing.
This trend was in part fuelled by disappointment in the region with the EU over its reluctance to more actively pursue enlargement of the bloc, allowing Turkey and Russia to increase their influence in the region.
On Tuesday (October 8), Erdogan will attend a trilateral meeting with officials from Bosnia, Serbia, and Turkey, as well as a cornerstone-laying ceremony for the Serbian section of a future motorway linking Belgrade and Sarajevo, mainly financed by Turkey's Eximbank.
(Production: Branko Filipovic, Suzana Sabljic, Malgorzata Wojtunik)
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