Erdogan says Turkey plays constructive role in Balkans

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey wants to continue helping the Balkan countries solve their long-standing problems through dialogue and cooperation.

Erdogan said Monday in Belgrade that Turkey will continue to play a “constructive role” in boosting stability in the Balkans where it maintains historic influence stemming from the centuries-long Ottoman rule.

Erdogan is on a two-day visit to Serbia during which Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia will inaugurate the start of work on a key regional highway linking Belgrade and Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo.

Turkey has close relations with the Bosniaks —who are mainly Muslims — in both Serbia and Bosnia.

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic has described relations with Turkey as “perhaps the best in modern history.”

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