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news 30 Dec 16

Thaci Firms up Kosovo's Alliance With Turkey

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara to again confirm the strong ties between Pristina and Ankara.

Die Morina
BIRN
Pristina
Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci and Turkey President, Recep Taip Erdogan in Presidential Palace in Turkey

Following a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Thursday, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci again condemned the attempted coup in Turkey this summer.

“Tanks and violence cannot break the will of citizens and the verdict of the people expressed in elections,” Thaci said in a press statement.

His office stated that Thaci and Erdogan had discussed further strengthening relations and confirmed their strategic cooperation.

Thaci said Kosovo was grateful to Turkey "for being near Kosovo in difficult times but also in good times and now, as Turkey helps to ensure recognition of the state of Kosovo and the country's membership in international organizations”.

Turkey was among the first countries to recognise Kosovo in February 2008 after it declared independence from Serbia.

Erdogan and Thaci are known for their cosy relations and during their meetings even referred to each other as “brothers”.

During his seven years as Prime Minister of Kosovo, Thaci was often criticized for his links to Turkey, partly because Turkish firms have bought some important privatized economic assets in Kosovo, including the energy distribution network and the airport, which some deem a wrong move.

Referring to recent terrorist acts in Turkey, Thaci said terrorists were all "the same, in Ankara, in Pristina, in Brussels, in Berlin, in New York or Washington", adding that Kosovo remains committed to "uncompromising fight against radicalism and extremism".

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