Kosovo: Turkey will not apologize to Serbia for remarks

Erdogan's words 'mark of friendship, no expansionist aims'

13 January, 14:58

    (ANSAmed) - BELGRADE, JANUARY 13 - Turkey has refused to apologize to Serbia for a remark made by Prime Minister Recep Erdogan on Kosovo in October. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the words were intended as an expression of friendship towards Serbia. In an interview Monday with the Belgrade daily Blic, Davutoglu underscored that Erdogan's comment - made in a rally in Prizen, southern Kosovo - was not a political one, nor a demonstration of an expansionist policy.

    ''It is a cultural definition - when you say in Turkish that Kosovo is someone's other country, it is an indication of close cultural ties,'' Davutoglu said ''I sincerely hope that this should be enough to show our good intentions towards the Serbian government and the Serbian people,'' the minister added, saying that a small sentence should not be quoted out of the context of the entire speech and that Erdogan's statement that Turkey is equally close to all Balkan nations is a much more important part of the speech. ''If Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic came to Istanbul and said that it is his city, we would applaud, and would not even think that any expansionist intentions are being shown towards Turkey,'' the head of Turkish foreign policy said, underscoring the importance of Serbian-Turkish relations for Balkan stability. Erdogan's words on Kosovo had led to Serbian President Nikolic calling off a scheduled attendance at a Serbia-Bosnia-Turkey summit. (ANSAmed).

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