Kosovo thankful to Turkey for its path to independence


Turkey is an international power to which Kosovo pays special attention, as Ankara played a major role in Kosovo's independence and its acceptance on both an international and regional level, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo Petrit Selimi has said in an interview with Today's Zaman. "Turkish diplomacy, run by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, has greatly supported Kosovo's recognition internationally and Kosovo's acceptance in regional cooperation," Selimi said, adding that Kosovo's success is due in part to friendly relations with Turkey, as well as the EU and the US. Turkey was one of the first countries to officially recognize Kosovo's independence from Serbia in early 2008, and it continues to place special importance on Kosovo, in particular on its stability and border security, through its dynamic foreign policy in the Balkans. Calling Turkey one of the crucial partners of Kosovo and of all Balkan countries, Selimi stated that Ankara and Prishtine are strategic allies, developing bilateral relations on both an economic and political level. He added that business agreements between the two countries worth 1 billion euros might be the best indication of the relationship between Turkey and Kosovo. "The economic growth of Kosovo, which has been at 6 percent for five years, is because of cooperation with Turkish businesses," Selimi said. "They can definitely play a role in making sure Serbia and Kosovo look at the Turkish model of prosperity, model of growth, model of putting business and action before the words of politics to foster good relations in the future," Selimi remarked, expressing his gratitude for Turkey's support since the declaration of Kosovo's independence in 2008, which he believes has been instrumental to Kosovo's success worldwide and its inclusion in the international community.