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Succesful Turkish mediation puts Bosnia back on agenda 24 mai 2010

Posted by Acturca in South East Europe / Europe du Sud-Est, Turkey-EU / Turquie-UE.
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Dünya (Turkey)

May 24, 2010

Turkey’s efforts to mend fences between Serbia and Bosnia, though not as well known as its mediation over Iran’s nuclear program, have been successful as two upcoming diplomatic visits show. Haris Silajdzic, the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is expected to make a historic visit to Belgrade this week. Turkey has meanwhile convinced Serbian President Boris Tadic to go to Srebrenica on the 15th anniversary of the massacres in the Bosnian Muslim village. The Turkish government played an important role in the process that led Serbia to issue an official apology in March for the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men by Bosnian Serb militia members in 1995. « We did play a facilitating role behind the scene, » a Turkish said. The dates for both Sladjicís trip to Belgrade and Tadicís trip to Srebrenica were decided at a trilateral summit that took place April 24 in Istanbul between the Bosnian and Serbian leaders and Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

Turkey’s increasing role in the Balkans has in part been made possible by its improved relations with the Serbian government, which were strained following Turkey’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence in February 2008. Gül’s trip to Belgrade in October, however, was a real icebreaker. The Turkish government proposed to establish trilateral mechanisms between Turkey, Serbia and Croatia as well as Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia. Turkey is one of three guests, along with the US and Russia, that will participate in an EU-Balkans summit June 2 in Sarajevo. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are both expected to attend the event. Turkish diplomats are warning that the Oct. 3 elections in Bosnia will be critical and the Turkish government has urged all sides to remain calm and prevent separatist and ultranationalist voices from spoiling the current atmosphere.


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