ANKARA

Turkey supports the Balkan neighbors of Serbia and Kosovo pursuing dialogue to reach agreements as soon as possible, for the benefit of both countries, Turkey’s foreign minister said Monday.

Turkey and Kosovo will take steps to coordinate their foreign ministries, including on matters such as naming new ambassadors and the training of diplomats, Mevlut Cavusoglu told a press conference in the capital Ankara alongside Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla, Kosovo’s visiting foreign and diaspora minister.

Cavusoglu said they dealt with bilateral relations in every area during their meeting, adding that economic ties are growing but still have room for improvement.

He said a free trade agreement signed last year is a great advantage for both countries.

Stating that Turkish companies provide jobs to 10,000 people in Kosovo, Cavusoglu said that they aim to boost this number in the future.

Cavusoglu also said they discussed ways to encourage companies to increase Turkish investments in Kosovo and to strengthen the defense industry and military cooperation.

He stated that since Kosovo gained independence in 2008, Turkey promoted its recognition, adding that the efforts will continue to push its membership in international organizations.

Kosovo’s integration to Euro-Atlantic institutions would contribute to stability in the region, he said.

‘Turkey always stands with Kosovo’

Haradinaj-Stublla expressed her gratitude to Turkey for showing unparalleled solidarity during this year of the coronavirus pandemic.

She also stated that the country is relying on Turkey’s support to access coronavirus vaccines, just rolling out now in some Western countries.

Turkey and Kosovo have long had friendly relations, and Turkey has always stood by Kosovo, Haradinaj-Stubll added.

As for dialogue with Serbia, Haradinaj-Stublla stressed that Kosovo continues to be determined to continue the dialogue and to resolve all unresolved problems with Serbia through peaceful means.

Stating that Kosovo has proven to be a constructive, reliable partner that keeps pacts, Haradinaj-Stublla added that Serbia has not been a partner that abides by these agreements, principles, and the spirit of good neighborliness.

Underlining that Serbia, which wants to become a member of the EU, has taken some non-constructive actions such as supplying Armenia with weapons, Haradinaj-Stublla stated that Belgrade also continues to receive offensive weapon systems.

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