World Bulletin/News Desk
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Ankara deputy and Turkey-Serbia Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group Chairman Seyit Sertçelik has said that a normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo will strengthen stability in the region while attracting many foreign investments.
The Serbian government on Monday approved a potentially landmark agreement to normalize relations with breakaway Kosovo that could end years of tension and put the Balkan rivals on a path to European Union membership. Kosovo's parliament voted in favor of a resolution to support the initial agreement on Sunday.
Stressing that the tension between Serbia and Kosovo had been a great source of concern for the whole world, Sertçelik said: “The agreement eliminated all these concerns. Because of the tension between the two countries, many foreign investors used to hesitate with respect to their future investments in the region. Now, I believe many foreign investors will make investments there.”
Sertçelik told Today's Zaman that Turkey supports any development that would positively aid peace and stability in the Balkans; he recalled that Turkey, Serbia and Kosovo have a common past dating back several centuries, as well as cultural proximity and ties of friendship.
“I believe this agreement will be beneficial for the both countries. The disagreements between Kosovo and Serbia served as a source of unrest and disquiet in the region. Now, this agreement will contribute economic and political stability in the Balkans. Serbia has made significant progress toward its EU bid thanks to this agreement, and Kosovo is being recognized by its neighboring countries.” he added.
The agreement allows Serbs to police and manage the north of Kosovo, which is inhabited predominantly by ethnic Serbs, in exchange for nominal recognition of the authority of the Kosovo government. It also calls for the two sides not to obstruct one another as they seek eventual membership in the EU.
Serbia relinquished control of most of Kosovo in 1999 when NATO chased its troops out of the region after a three-month bombing campaign. Ending the partition of Kosovo between the Albanian majority and the Serb-controlled north -- about a fifth of the country -- is a key condition of Serbia's further progress toward EU membership.
Details about how the deal would be implemented on the ground remain murky, especially since Kosovar Serbs insist they will not accept any authority coming from Pristina's ethnic Albanians.Last Mod: 25 Nisan 2013, 15:23