Davutoglu addresses international conference on Balkans


The foreign ministers of Turkey, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina yesterday attended the conference "From Balkan Wars to Balkan Peace" in Istanbul which was organized on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Balkan Wars and hosted by Ankara. Speaking at the conference, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, "It is time for the Balkans to distance itself from fragmented identities and start solving its problems itself. The solution lays with the peoples of the region. The joint cultures of the Balkan peoples should be utilized to overcome disagreements between politicians." Davutoglu also called on the international community and the UN to take necessary steps in Syria to stop the massacre before it becomes too late as was the case in Bosnia in the 1990s. “Today the situation in Syria resembles Bosnia. There are similarities between the bombings of Damascus, Hama or Homs and the bombing of Sarajevo in Bosnia. Just like Bosnia, Aleppo has great historic richness. The international community which was insensitive to the massacres in Bosnia had to repent and apologize later on,” Davutoglu said, adding that the fact that foreign ministers of five countries gathered there was an indication of a joint commitment to establishing peace in the Balkans. Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Foreign Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina Zlatko Lagumdzija said that Turkey has never walked away from them, but lent them impetus.