Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said after meeting Kosovo's counterpart Vjosa Osmani on Tuesday that his country would advocate NATO membership for Pristina.
„Turkey, as an important NATO country, does not see anything wrong with Kosovo’s membership in NATO. We do not need anyone’s permission to support the NATO membership process. We have taken steps. As we did in the case of recognition, so we will do for the process of Kosovo’s membership in NATO,“ Erdoğan said.
He told a news conference that Turkey was the second country, after the United States, to recognise Kosovo’s independence, contributed much to the process, and continued to lobby for greater recognition of Kosovo.
„In the same way, our meetings and contacts continue to bring new recognitions from countries that have not done so. In the meeting we had, Vjosa Osmani gave me the names of several countries to secure new recognitions of Kosovo, and we want to have new recognitions,“ Erdoğan said.
Osmani added Kosovo was interested in continuing good relations with Turkey and praised Erdoğan’s role in supporting Kosovo and helping it gain new recognition.
„Turkey can do a lot within NATO by supporting Kosovo,“ she said.
Speaking about the dialogue with Serbia, Osmani said that only mutual recognition guarantees peace and stability in the region but that Serbia was obstructing the dialogue process.
Kosovo’s membership in many international organisations, particularly the UN, is almost impossible without Serbia’s consent and with a possibility of Russia’s veto power in the UN Security Council.
Belgrade maintains that its former province, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, is still part of its territory, calling upon UN Resolution 1244 which is neutral regarding Kosovo’s final status.
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