Turkey will invest in the construction of a new highway through Sandžak.

Turkey to build highway through Sandžak
24 July 2009 | 10:16 -> 14:39 | Source: B92, FoNet, Beta, Tanjug
BELGRADE — Serbian and Turkish Foreign Ministers Vuk Jeremić and Ahmet Davatoglu have agreed that Turkey will invest in the construction of a new highway through Sandžak.

Davatoglu, Jeremić meeting yesterday (FoNet)
Davatoglu, Jeremić meeting yesterday (FoNet)

Jeremić told a joint press conference after Davutoglu’s meeting with Labor Minister Rasim Ljajić and Minister Without Portfolio Sulejman Uglajnin that Sandžak’s development was a priority not only for Serbia, but Turkey too.

He said that this was one of the most historic days in relations between Serbia and Turkey, and that it was the first time that the two countries’ foreign ministers had visited Sandžak together.

“We discussed our vision of Sandžak, and of the Western Balkans. We discussed economic, infrastructural and strategic projects in Sandžak. Together we’ll work on a highway that crosses Sandžak, and for this we’ll require unity among people, political parties, unity between states,“ stressed the Serbian foreign minister.

Davutoglu said that Sandžak was a “green light“ for further cooperation between Serbia and Turkey.

„I’m sure that by working together, Sandžak can prosper. It will be Serbia’s marvelous heritage and star,“ he said.

Davutoglu’s visit to the region is interesting in that it brought recently sworn political enemies in Novi Pazar to the same table for talks.

The men in question are Sandžak Democratic Party leader Rasim Ljajić and the leader of the Coalition of Bosniaks for a European Sandžak, Sulejman Ugljanin.

Ljajić told B92, however, that the Turkish minister had not come to mediate between the two political leaders in Sandžak.

“Turkey is not mediating in any talks. We are responsible people, we have a responsibility to the people of Sandžak. It is very important to develop a strategic partnership between Turkey and Serbia, and Sandžak can benefit from this cooperation through Turkish investments. Our obligation is to ensure political stability,” Ljajić said.

Before making his visit to Sandžak, Davatoglu said that there were unbreakable ties between Turkey and Serbia that could be further strengthened through economic cooperation.

„There is large population from the Balkans in Turkey. We have more Bosniaks than Bosnia, more Albanians even. We have quite a few migrants from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia. In Turkey, we look on all these cultural groups as a bridge between ourselves and their states. In that sense, we say we’re neighbors, as whatever happens in our region, that’s our common destiny,“ said the minister.