President Fatmir Sejdiu returns from his visit to Turkey

Republic of Kosovo’s President Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu has returned yesterday from his several-day visit to Turkey. In a statement to the media at the Pristina International Airport he considered that this visit has a special positive significance and contributes to the strengthening of relations with the Republic of Turkey, which constitutes an important partner in terms of cooperation and investments in Kosovo.

President Sejdiu recalled his participation in the Euro-Asia Economic Forum which brought together representatives of 41 countries and discussed economic issues related to the global financial crisis.
“I had the chance to meet state presidents, like the President of Croatia Stipe Mesić and presidents of other countries – influential and important to talk to – such as presidents of Rumania and Bulgaria, the president of Estonia, a delegation headed by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy, the former Mongolian Foreign Minister” – President Sejdiu said.

Further on, he said that these talks generally involved countries that have recognised Kosovo and that they dealt with mutual relations and cooperation, but that he also had discussions with representatives of other countries that have not recognised Kosovo so far, such as Rumania and Mongolia, focusing on ways to provide for a faster change in their position, which he considered does not reflect rejection on their part, but rather a need to study the issue of Kosovo further, so as to accelerate their steps towards recognition. He said that these discussions were enlightening.

“In the course of my stay there, I also met the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament. I discussed with the former President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Süleyman Demirel, a great friend of Kosovo who has provided a valuable contribution to Kosovo and was one of the key persons to chair the Forum. “Personally, I held two keynote speeches. On the first day, I spoke about the general problems that we are facing, and on the second I tackled issues that relate to political evolutions, when I assured the audience of the will of our state to set its pace in moving towards integration into Euro-Atlantic community, expressing, of course, our gratitude to the Republic of Turkey” – President Sejdiu added.

He noted that he had a very friendly phone conversation with the President of Turkey, Avdullah Gyl, and that, in the meantime, he met other important personalities of Turkey’s political and social lives, but also representatives of Turkey’s Business Community, Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Culture, and so on.

President Sejdiu mentioned his visit to the city of Izmir, where he met city’s senior officials, such as the governor and the mayor of Izmir, which is a large and developing municipality, a city of 4.5 million inhabitants and with a geographic position conducive to a faster development.

He also said that he held a lecture at the Izmir Public University, where he spoke of our vision for the future, and that he met the members of South-East Europe communities that have gone settled there, have become citizens of Turkey and contribute to the developments in the country.

“Accordingly, I consider that this visit has a special positive significance and contributes to the strengthening of our relations with the Republic of Turkey, which constitutes an important partner in terms of cooperation and investments in Kosovo” - President Sejdiu pointed out.

“I am conveying their words of commitment to support Kosovo in its further progress in the fields of investments and cooperation in scientific, cultural, educational and health sectors, including communication between our people” – President Sejdiu said, adding that, from the conversations that he had with these people, he learned that they have a good will for the Republic of Kosovo”.

Though it was not in terms of an official representation, I want to distinguish a very long conversation that I had with Mr. Iliescu and the President of Rumania, Mr. Constantinescu. They both are very familiar with the developments and reality in Kosovo and I believe that the moment will come when we will boost our cooperation at different levels, what would enable us to push for the central issue of the recognition of Kosovo by the Rumanian state” – President Sejdiu added.

Asked about the fact that Kosovo has been accepted as a member of IMF and that 40 countries which have not recognised the independence of Kosovo so far has voted in favour of accession, President Sejdiu called this a good sign and an opportunity for acceding to other international institutions.

”I believe this is a good sign. The IMF represents an open door to our accession to other international institutions. Secondly, this indicates that these countries acknowledge the new realities that we have created in Kosovo. Further on, the recent decision of Saudi Arabia to recognise the independence of Kosovo has opened a new chapter that contributes to further recognitions by other Islamic countries. Kosovo’s friend countries, such as the USA above all, the EU countries, but the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Albanian as well, may intensify their direct engagements in encouraging other countries to recognise Kosovo. Accordingly, Kosovo’s accession to the IMF might represent a good prelude to further developments in this direction” – President Sejdiu said.

President Sejdiu was also asked by the journalists if he has received an invitation from the Macedonian President to participate in the ceremony of his inauguration.

“I have not received an invitation. As far as the invitation is concerned, it is a matter of their considerations for the time being. It is a matter at the discretion of Macedonian Government and institutions. For us, it is absolutely important to maintain the current cooperative approach and to foster neighbourly relations. Kosovo is determined to contribute constantly to the stability in the region and to other important processes” – President Sejdiu said. “We will move on. It is important for us to contribute to positive developments in the region and it is our desire to be a part of them. Indeed, we have already proved this desire” – he affirmed.