Kosovo needs Turkey's persistent support to gain recognition and membership in international organizations, the country’s president said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the three-day Antalya Diplomacy Forum which closed on Sunday, Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu said: “We will continue to need Turkey’s support in gaining more recognition and will continue to need their support for membership to international organizations.”
“We will be in touch with the Turkish institutions to make sure that every single effort that we make internationally is one that gains the strong support of Turkey, not just their vote but also to have their voice to lobby in favor of Kosovo’s recognition and membership,” she said.
“Because that is extremely important not just for our prosperity and development, but for longstanding, peace and stability in the region as such,” she added.
The relations between Kosovo and Turkey have been strong due to a vibrant Turkish population in Kosovo and a Kosovar community in Turkey, she said.
These communities should continue to be a bridge between the two nations, she further said.
In her meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Osmani-Sadriu said the two leaders discussed many areas of cooperation from trade to health to defense.
She said Kosovo is a great place to invest with its young population “which speaks lots of languages [and is] very much tech savvy.”
The president noted that 80% of Kosovo's production in the IT sector is exported to the US “which shows what great quality it is.”
"And that's an area where we could definitely develop more but there are so many areas in which Turkish businesses would be not just welcome in terms of politics, but also welcome in terms of the legal instruments that we provide,” she added.
- 'Kosovo’s independence is irreversible process’
Osmani-Sadriu said she held very fruitful meetings on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum, adding the process of Kosovo’s recognition as an independent state “is a path that is facing quite a lot of challenges and hurdles, because of Serbia and Russia's efforts to stop this process.”
“But let me point out that Kosovo’s independence is an irreversible process. There is nothing that can stop our way forward for more recognitions and more memberships, sometimes it may take us longer, but we're still moving forward,” she added.
The president said Kosovo is now recognized by over 100 countries around the world and they continue efforts to raise this figure.
“Because the International Court of Justice has confirmed that Kosovo’s independence is in line with international law, so there's practically no reason whatsoever for any country to hesitate to recognize Kosovo,” she added.
On the ongoing talks with Serbia, Osmani-Sadriu said the dialogue between the two countries “is not about the status of Kosovo. The status of Kosovo has been resolved once and forever on Feb. 17 2008.”
“The dialogue is about two neighbors living side by side, by removing barriers in trade, talking about the missing persons from the war, and talking about other issues that are in the benefit of the two peoples that we represent on an equal footing as two sovereign states. We will never ever accept Kosovo’s independence to be on that table, neither its borders,” she said, adding that revisiting these issues will only destabilize the entire region.
She said the path to European integration will gain pace after it is recognized by more countries.
*Writing by Busra Nur Cakmak in Ankara