Davutoğlu calls for new Balkan cooperation

Davutoğlu calls for new Balkan cooperation

BELGRADE - Anatolia News Agency
Balkan countries need to develop new mechanisms of cooperation to solve their issues, Turkey’s foreign minister has said.

 “Let us put our own efforts in place instead of waiting for the European Union to solve the problems,” Ahmet Davutoğlu told an informal meeting of foreign ministers of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SECP) member states in Belgrade, Serbia, on Jan. 31.

 Davutoğlu said the SECP needed to adapt to the changing circumstances in the region and develop “a new mindset” to tackle today’s problems. “We need a new vision to see SECP from different perspectives to improve political dialogue, develop new economic projects and launch new education opportunities,” he said.

Davutoğlu met with Montenegrin Foreign Minister Milan Rocen, Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas and Serbian President Boris Tadic.

The Turkish minister and Pusic discussed the latest developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the economic crisis in the EU. The two ministers also discussed plans to hold a tripartite meeting between Turkey, Bosnia and Croatia.

With Poposki, Davutoğlu discussed ways to improve bilateral relations, as well as the EU economic crisis and its effects on the Balkans. Davutoğlu’s meeting with his Greek counterpart focused on a prospective meeting between senior Turkish and Greek diplomats later in February and a meeting of the Aegean neighbors’ high-level strategic council.

Following his talks, Davutoğlu attended a dinner hosted by Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic for his counterparts that participated in the SECP meeting. Davutoğlu later left Serbia for Turkey.