Historic Turkey – Serbia meet aims at development, sidelines US interests

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ANKARA – Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will arrive today May 6th for a two-day official visit to Turkey, according to an official statement from the office of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The newspaper “Hürriyet Daily News” reports that the announcement states that “Vucic is visiting on the invitation of Turkish President Erdoğan”.

“During the visit, the first meeting of the High Council for Cooperation between Turkey and Serbia will be held. During these meetings it will also be discussed the bilateral relations between Serbia and Turkey that will contribute to the region, as well as the steps that need to be taken to strengthen them will be discussed ” it was stated from the office of the Turkish Presidency.

It was also stated that “it is expected the president Erdoğan will exchange views on the recent developments in the situation at the regional and international level.”

The significance of this visit is reflected in the rich historical and present day relations between these two countries.

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In the 14th century the Ottoman Empire occupied Serbian territories and retained that dominance until the 19th century when Serbia ultimately returned its territories after the Second Serbian uprising in 1814.

Today Russian-Turkish cooperation related to the South Stream, now also called Turkish Stream, has contributed and has taken a large role in improving relations between Serbia and Turkey, which was also the ultimate goal of this meeting.

It is also significant to mention similar relations these two countries have with their negotiations with EU. Although Turkey is technically in negotiating status related to entering the EU, the European Parliament  suspended accession negotiations with Turkey over issues of human rights and rule of law, when it was also resolved that it will not be open to new areas in Turkey’s membership talks under the “prevailing circumstances”. Serbia’s status related to entering the EU is fairly similar. While Serbia technically is in negotiating status with the EU, none of the chapters required for ratification for EU membership, in practice, have been opened.

 

The south of Serbia is under NATO occupation, and likewise with Turkey, while technically Turkey is a member of NATO, there are rising tensions with Turkey and NATO member Greece. Greece’s actions in Syria and the US’ failed attempted coup in Turkey, demonstrate that Serbia and Turkey may find themselves in a similarly uncooperative relationship with NATO. The US has exerted tremendous pressure on the EU to frustrate Russian – Turkish energy projects for Europe, which all leads to the conclusion that effectively Turkey is no longer a part of NATO.

 

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