Belgrade, 2 September 2022 (TDI): Foreign Minister of Serbia, Nikola Selakovic welcomed Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Belgrade. The Turkish Foreign Minister is visiting Belgrade to attend the Open Balkan Initiative Summit.

The Open Balkan initiative is a regional collaboration between Serbia, Albania, and North Macedonia.

This initiative seeks to promote unrestricted trade in commodities, people, and services throughout the Western Balkans. The leaders of the Open Balkans countries signed an agreement.

The agreement will create mechanisms that keep markets open, guarantee food security, and prevent interruptions.

The leaders of the initiative also hosted Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and the Turkish Foreign Minister.

The summit was attended by Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers Chair Zoran Tegeltija, and the Foreign Ministers of Hungary and Türkiye.

Minister Cavusoglu addressed the opening session of the Summit and discussed promoting cooperation in Belgrade. Later he will have some bilateral meetings on the limitations of the Summit.

Turkish Foreign Minister stated that Türkiye will help ensure the Balkans’ gas needs will be met this winter.

He said, “We see the Open Balkan Initiative as a bridge between the Balkans and the EU. In the past, enlargement has been among the most successful policies of the EU. But the EU has become inward-looking, and narrow political interests hijacked the enlargement agenda.”

He added, “Nobody can offer a good explanation as to why North Macedonia and Albania have waited for so long. And we congratulate both of them on the beginning of accession negotiations.”

Also read: Turkish Foreign Minister visits Kosovo 

Turkiye and Serbia relations

Under the goal of the “strategic alliance,” relations between Türkiye and Serbia have reached their highest point in recent years.

Both Turkiye and Serbia consider one another as neighbors, despite the fact that their countries do not share a boundary. This is indicative of the value that both parties have good bilateral ties.

Significant improvements have been made in both bilateral ties between the two countries as well as the trilateral arrangement between Türkiye, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is led by Türkiye.

Both Türkiye and Serbia making efforts to extend their evolving political connections to other domains in the future, notably the economic and commercial sectors.