The Acting President of the Republic of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi receives the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayip ErdoganThe Acting President of the Republic of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi hosted a meeting today with the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayip Erdogan.
At a friendly meeting, Dr. Jakup Krasniqi decorated Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan with the Golden Medal of Independence, an award conferred upon Kosovo citizens and foreigners that have contributed to the independence of Kosovo.
Mr. Krasniqi and Mr. Erdogan held a press conference after the meeting.
I had the honor of being visited today by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Mr. Erdogan and a delegation from his cabinet. The visit that has started yesterday has been perceived positively all around Kosovo, in Pristina and in Prizren, and is a strong confirmation of friendship between Republic of Turkey, institutions of Turkey, Government of Turkey and Kosovo and its people, Mr. Krasniqi emphasized.
Turkey was one of the first countries that have recognized the independence of the Republic of Kosovo declared on 17 February 2008. During all these years, Turkey has maintained a strong military presence to provide for security and stability and Kosovo. Turkish Development Agency has invested in Kosovo during all these years. Other investments were made, including the strong presence of Turkish businessmen, especially in the construction of the highway, in Pristina Airport and in many other fields, Krasniqi said, adding that our relations will be strengthened further after the visit for certain, that the Turkish presence in Kosovo will increase for the best of both countries and peoples and that these relations will be bolstered further on all fronts.
Of course, during these years, Prime Minister Erdogan has lobbied a lot for the recognition of the independent and sovereign state of Kosovo by Islamic and Arab countries, and Turkey maintains good relations with many other world countries. In this regard, Republic of Turkey and Mr. Erdogan himself can do a lot for Kosovo and have the will to assist us. On the other hand, he will engage as he has declared before and as we discussed today in facilitating forthcoming talks due between Pristina and Belgrade, the Acting President of the Republic of Kosovo stated.
Yesterday and today we have been conducting a visit with intensive meetings in Kosovo. Yesterday we meet with Prime Minister Thaçi. During both eye-to-eye meetings and those between delegations, we discussed cooperation and we had the chance to discuss other topics related to the military, economic, social, cultural and historic fields. We discussed what Turkey and Kosovo can achieve in the region as two friend and brother countries, Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayip Erdogan affirmed.
Mr. Thaçi visited Turkey in May and we discussed progress made since his stay in Turkey. Together with Mr. Thaçi, we went to Prizren. It was an exciting night, a thrilling reception. There we met the people of Prizren and paid a short visit to the municipality of Mamusha, and today, at the University of Pristina, I received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa. I accepted it on behalf of my people, and we also had a meeting with the Rector and students, Mr. Ergodan added.
He maintained that many things can be achieved between Turkey and Kosovo and that some have already been achieved. In the military domain, we maintain the presence of the Turkish contingent in the KFOR and this is important for the peace and stability in Kosovo. We will maintain our engagement in this regard. We have maintained our solidarity both before and after the declaration of independence.
In particular, we are encouraging our businessmen to invest in Kosovo. We have attached a great importance to the steps that they have made and projects that they have undertaken thus far. As you know, the giant highway that is being constructed by a Turkish company (the Bechtel & Enka Consortium) will connect Kosovo with the Adriatic. Apart from this project, there is another Turkish firm, Limac, which, in a consortium with the French firm Lion, will as of January next year work on the expansion and modernization of the Pristina airport. Both firms and other firms that have proved themselves in the field will modernize the Pristina airport more modern and will offer advanced services. Another important step relates to telecommunications infrastructure, because there are important steps that we can make in this field as well. Likewise, we will inaugurate a flour factory, we will visit a mosque that has been restored and we will inaugurate a new hospital with a capacity of 50 beds. We intend to build a cultural centre in Pristina and Prizren respectively, which will serve as institutions that will boost cultural relations between the two countries further, Prime Minister Erdogan pointed out.
Elections will be held on 12 December in Kosovo and will serve as a starting point for a new democratic period in Kosovo. They will be good news of democracy strengthening, Prime Minister Erdogan said, thanking institutions and people of Kosovo for the warm reception.
Asked about his expectations from Turkey concerning stability in Kosovo and the Balkan, the Acting President of the Republic of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi said: We expect not only from Turkey, but from all the countries of the region a new partnership in the entire region, in the South-East Europe, including the Republic of Turkey. New partnerships that will be build between countries and people to ensure stability in the entire region, to improve the security and to open new perspectives, partnerships and cooperation that the region has lacked for centuries now.
We are glad that, in these moments, the Prime Minister Erdogan and, I believe, the entire Turkish political spectrum and diplomacy will offer their service in fostering new relations between Kosovo and Serbia and other countries of the region, such as Bosnia. In this regard, I consider that Turkey but Kosovo and all other countries of the region too can contribute to peace and security, and I am convinced that, by such politics and practices of partnership, each can contribute in its own way or form. Of course, as a country with tradition and as a great state of great human and economic potential, Turkey can give a lot and contribute even more to the security and stability throughout the region, Mr. Krasniqi affirmed.